Oh so he was at the brothel and they were his charges after all

Despite months and months of denials that charges on his union credit to a brothel were not his, Craig Thomson has finally decided to fess up and tell us what we already knew…that the charges were his.

CRAIG Thomson will avoid facing a jury on charges of misappropriating union funds, after his lawyer appeared to backtrack from the former Labor MP’s previous claim that he did not use union credit cards to pay for escorts.

Mr Thomson, who is running for reelection in his NSW seat of Dobell as an independent, today won his application to have the 173 charges heard by a magistrate instead of proceeding to a judge and jury.

Making the application, Mr Thomson’s barrister Greg James QC said it was “very likely” there would be no issues about the facts of the expenditure, and the case instead related to whether Mr Thomson had authority for the spending as national secretary.

“These are not complex charges,” he said.

Mr Thomson is accused of falsely representing that the HSU had authorised thousands of dollars of credit card spending, including payment for escorts and cash withdrawals from bank accounts, and using union credit cards to pay for pornographic movies at hotels. ?

Oh so it is no longer a case of whether or not spending on hookers, porn movies or other “entertainment” was his, rather whether or not he was “allowed” to. Interesting… so if he wins this line of defence then we will all know that the Health Services Union is ok with their union bosses spending up large on hookers.

I wonder what the members think about that?

Of course Thomson has for months denied this even occurred and protested his innocence, saying he was set up.

Turning to credit cards and escorts, I have consistently from day one denied any wrongdoing in relation to these issues. I make it clear?and I hope I have already by painting a picture?that I had many enemies in the HSU?

There was, though, a particular threat that was made that I thought was just part of the routine threats that were constantly made in working in this environment. That was a threat by Marco Bolano in words to the effect that he would seek to ruin any political career that I sought and would set me up with a bunch of hookers…. The account details of my credit cards were known. They were reported. Everyone knew what my credit card account numbers were.

He even went on to deny he was even there and blame identity theft.

As for my driver?s licence, can I say that there has been a deliberate and massive attempt to paint me in a different light by Fairfax by printing in the paper a copy of my driver?s licence and making it appear as if a copy of that driver?s licence was there on these occasions. That is not what the evidence is. The evidence is that my driver?s licence number was written on three of those particular chits. Let us take a commonsense thing which we all know occurs. If you are asked for an ID and you have a photo ID, you hold it up. The person looks at your face. They look at the driver?s licence and they say, ?Yes, that is you.? They do not then go and say that they need to write down details of this and put it there. That just does not happen. Can I suggest that of all places for it not to happen would be when you are seeking those sorts of services where, presumably, a degree of anonymity is what is being sought.

My driver?s licence was also commonly available and on the records there at the union where it was needed for a variety of things including right-of-entry permits….

One of the things that I have difficulties in making an explanation about?and I am certainly not going to use parliamentary privilege to lie or change that?is in relation to phones and how records [of calls to brothels] were on my phones. I do not have an explanation so that I can neatly say, ?This is what definitively happened. I know that this happens.?..

Identity theft in Australia and around the world is not new? This is something that the Federal Police and our police authorities know is a very common issue and something that can happen in relation to criminals and people acting outside the law. Certainly, if you are looking to set someone up, it is a very easy process. I have here 30 or 40 pages from various websites saying how easy it is. In three steps, you can have someone else?s phone number on a different account. The issue, I am saying, is that these things were not looked at by Fair Work Australia.

One of the other issues is that it was said there was a phone call made from Bateau Bay to one of these escort services. I moved to Bateau Bay in 2009, which is four and a bit years after this alleged phone call took place. I was not even living on the Central Coast when this phone call took place. I do not know how that phone record is on my record. But, again, one would have thought that these would have been things that Fair Work would have looked at.

Deny, deny, deny…oh wait it was me after all. All that proves now is that when he stood in the parliament he uttered a litany of lies.