Key figure in AWU scandal offers to break his silence – Business Spectator

Posted: August 3, 2012 in Australia, News

Key figure in AWU scandal offers to break his silence

03 Aug 2012 5:16 AM

A long-ago financial scandal linked to the then-boyfriend of Prime Minister Julia Gillard has resurfaced, with the former union official and alleged bagman linked to the issue offering for the first time to give evidence to police and prosecutors in return for immunity from criminal prosecution, according to The Australian Financial Review.

Ralph Blewitt, who was once the branch head for the Australian Workers Union (AWU) has offered to testify about his role and the roles of others.

“My lawyers have told me that if I seek to tell the whole story, they will seek immunity from prosecution for me,” Mr Blewitt said, according to the AFR.

“If I get that, I am more than prepared to tell the whole story to the best of my ability. I will make myself available (to police) on that one condition – that I have immunity from prosecution. Then the whole story can be put to bed once and for all.”

Mr Blewitt owned a house in Melbourne’s inner-city suburb of Fitzroy that was used by former AWU boss Bruce Wilson and allegedly bought with misappropriated AWU funds in a deal handled and part-financed by solicitors at Slater & Gordon, where Ms Gillard was an industrial lawyer and partner in the 1990s at a time when she was in a relationship with Mr Wilson.

The house became the focal point for a police investigation, and a separate union probe, based around accusations that Mr Blewitt and Mr Wilson had illegally siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars from the AWU.

Many of the funds that were alleged to have been misused had been paid into an entity, the AWU Workplace Reform Association. Ms Gillard did legal work tied to the establishment of the association.

Ms Gillard has repeatedly denied any knowledge of wrongdoing related to the scandal, the AFR added. 03 Aug 2012 5:16 AM

As Sourced from: Business Spectator

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