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ACT Magistrates Court registers private prosecution of George Brandis and issues him a summons to face charges

I should point out at the start that this case against George Brandis QC won't be going anywhere.  I don't support Rod Culleton in bringing this ill-founded brief to court - but I would fight to the death for us all to retain the right to do it.
The law allows anyone to bring a charge to court.  The law also allows the DPP to pick up and take over the charge at any time.   That's a great safeguard against malicious prosecutions - but it's also a dangerous risk to well intentioned and considered private cases.
This is the former (if ever) Senator Rod Culleton's charge and summons sheet in his private prosecution of Attorney General George Brandis QC. 
Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 3.25.28 am
With great respect to Mr Culleton, he's got buckley's of getting the charge understood properly, let alone proven.  
But he's very enthusiastic nonetheless, no doubt energised by losing his job and looking for someone to blame, vision-limiting influences with which I'm well acquainted.
http://amp.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/rod-culleton-brings-private-prosecution-against-george-brandis-in-canberra-court-20170906-gycfrx.html

Speaking outside court, Mr Culleton said he had "a very strong case".

"People now, if their senators aren't going to step up and properly represent their constituents like I am, they can file a private prosecution for $80 in here (ACT Magistrates' Court) and go their hardest. I think it's great."

He doubted Commonwealth prosecutors would drop the case if they eventually decided to take it on.

"This is a great case. It's all on Hansard, it's in the public interest, we've got all our ducks in a row.

When asked if he faced a difficult task in running the private prosecution, Mr Culleton said it was "hard to become a senator too, but I got there".

"I've had a look at all my senate manuals, I was in the high court of parliament for a period of time and I've had a look at what the law is really about.

"It's not overly complex, it's just about finding an avenue and sticking to it and having right on your side, which is all on Hansard and I'll run my case beautifully."

I can't see how his charges will survive the first proper mention with Brandis represented.
Mr Culleton will have no admissible evidence to lead because of the parliamentary privilege that protects parliamentarians and their proceedings. Nothing that's said in a house of parliament can be used in a court outside it.
Misleading the Senate is dealt with by the Senate as a contempt - recall the House of Representatives and their internal treatment of Craig Thomson's bulltish stories.
Now all of that said - the fact that the criminal division of the Magistrates' Court in the ACT allowed the information to be filed, a summons to be issued for service on Brandis, a court date scheduled and a first mention hearing to go ahead bodes well for private prosecutions.
Culleton's charges will of course be knocked out if they proceed further in open court.
I've put 6 years into investigating Gillard and her co-offenders. My prosecution may be picked up by the DPP, but it won't be knocked out in court.
As a very junior but busy policeman I was the informant in more than 100 criminal prosecutions.  Victoria Police are trained to produce a brief of evidence for the first hearing of a charge that could be taken all the way to the High Court.
I'll have more to say about my private prosecution later today.
FEDERAL POLITICS

Rod Culleton brings private prosecution against George Brandis in Canberra court 

Former One Nation senator Rod Culleton​ has brought a rare private prosecution against federal Attorney-General George Brandis​ in a Canberra court, accusing him of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Mr Culleton appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday for the first brief mention of the case, alleging Mr Brandis misled the Senate over matters that led to his dismissal.

Mr Brandis had been served with a summons but did not appear.

Federal prosecutor Peter Botros asked that the case be adjourned for 10 weeks so the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions could decide whether it would take the matter on.

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis.
Attorney-General Senator George Brandis. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Mr Culleton began to speak about the circumstances around the case from the bar table before he was interrupted by Magistrate Karen Fryar.

"This is not the place to grandstand, Mr Culleton," she said. "I don't care what happened in the Senate, what matters is what happens here.

"What I have is your private prosecution summons."

Ms Fryar said it was not uncommon in private prosecutions for territory or Commonwealth prosecutors to consider whether they should take over the prosecution.

"In all due respect this is a private prosecution, it's my prosecution, Mr Culleton said. His comments prompted Ms Fryar to respond: "In all respect it's up to the CDPP."

ENDS

 

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