UPDATED - Developments in the Magistrates' Court at Melbourne in the Slater and Gordon police raid
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"I am satisfied that, in each instance, the communication was made or the document prepared in furtherance of the commission of a fraud or an offence."

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Magistrate says Slater & Gordon documents were part of AWU fraud

VICTORIA's chief magistrate has granted police investigating the AWU slush fund scandal access to hundreds of documents, finding they were part of a fraud and therefore not covered by legal privilege.

Magistrate Peter Lauritsen today ruled that lead investigator Ross Mitchell could access 363 documents, seized by a warrant from law firm Slater & Gordon, over which former AWU boss Bruce Wilson claimed privilege.

Lawyers for Mr Mitchell had argued the documents were created in furtherance of a fraud and Mr Wilson's claim for privilege was therefore void.

Mr Wilson is being investigated amid allegations he used the AWU Workplace Reform Association to siphon hundreds of thousands of dollars from construction giant Thiess and to purchase a house in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy.

Mr Wilson was in a long-term relationship with Julia Gillard when she provided legal advice to help to help establish the association while working at Slater & Gordon, later describing it to her employer as a "slush fund''.

In his ruling, Mr Lauritsen said most of the documents would not meet the definition of a privileged document, but Mr Wilson's privilege claim would not succeed in any case based on evidence provided by Mr Wilson's former bagman Ralph Blewitt and "a good deal of corroboration".

"The evidence of Blewitt establishes that Thiess was deceived," he said.

"It believed it was paying for a particular service. The association provided no such service.

"Wilson bought a home with some of Thiess' payments. Only he knows what happened (to) the rest."

"I am satisfied that, in each instance, the communication was made or the document prepared in furtherance of the commission of a fraud or an offence."

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