Dodgy former union boss Craig Thomson was arrested, charged with 150 counts of fraud and released on bail. Earlier in the day Julia Gillard announced theÂ electionÂ date 8 months out….connected? Possibly but I think that Gillard won’t be able to last until September, she is too closely wedded to Thomson.
Federal MP Craig Thomson declined an offer to surrender himself before he was was arrested at his electorate office and charged with 150 fraud offences, police say.
Members of the NSW fraud squad on Thursday executed an arrest warrant on behalf of the Victorian Fraud and Extortion Squad.
Victorian detectives flew to Sydney this morning where they accompanied NSW police to Mr Thomson’s Central Coast electorate office. He was arrested about 1pm.Â
The head of the NSW Fraud Squad, Detective Superintendent Col Dyson said that Mr Thomson was arrested on Thursday because he refused an invitation before Christmas to surrender himself.
”I believe that from reading the warrant he was invited to travel to Victoria to surrender himself prior to Christmas, he didnâ€™t do that,” Supt Dyson told reporters.
Supt Dyson described Mr Thomsonâ€™s demeanor as calm: ”Heâ€™s accepted whatâ€™s been said to him, he hasnâ€™t argued.”
Mr Thomson was bailed to appear before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on February 6.
“Every fibre of my being is screaming out to say how wrong this is,” he said outside the Wyong Local Court.
He said he would be “vigorouslyÂ defendingÂ the charges”.
“As I have said from the start, I have done no wrongdoing,” he said.
The Victorian police have spent almost 18 months investigating claims that Mr Thomson improperly used Health Services Union funds to spend on prostitutes, air travel, entertainment and cash withdrawals in excess of $100,000.
This case and the ongoing corruption scandals within the union movement and the ALP in NSW are likely to massively impact the Federal ALP in the coming months.