Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 31 August 1999
Page: 9539


Mr Tanner asked the Minister representing the Minister for Justice and Customs, upon notice, on 31 May 1999:

(1) Further to the answer to question No. 522, (Hansard , 12 May 1999, page 4342), did the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) or a person from the DPP's office discuss the allegations of perjury against Mr Corrigan with the Attorney-General, the Minister, another Minister or a staff member of a Minister's office; if so, in each case, (a) when, (b) by what means did the discussion occur and (c) what was said by each participant.

(2) Has the DPP or a person from the DPP's office discussed the matter with another person; if so, in each case, (a) when, (b) by what means did the discussion occur and (c) what was said by each participant.

(3) Has the DPP received or despatched correspondence about the matter other than the letters referred to in the answer to question No. 522; if so, in each case, (a) on what date, (b) from or to which person and (c) with what contents.

(4) Did the DPP raise the matter with the Australian Federal Police or take other steps to seek further information on the matter; if not, why not.

(5) Was the DPP's decision not to proceed based on an absence of sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case of perjury; if so, what was the nature of the unavailable evidence which in the DPP's view rendered the prospects of a successful prosecution unlikely.

(6) Was the DPP's decision to proceed based on a question of law; if so, what was the nature of the legal impediment.


Mr Williams (Attorney-General) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Acting Director of Public Prosecutions has provided me with the following information:

(1) There were no discussions about the allegations of perjury with the Attorney-General, any other Minister, or the staff of Ministers. The only discussion that did occur was with a staff member of the Attorney-General when the issue was raised in the press on 7 April, 1999. The Acting Director provided the staff member with details of the response provided to the Industrial Registrar on 2 November 1998.

(2) Officers of the DPP provided information to officers of the Attorney-General's Department for the purpose of answering House of Representatives Question on Notice number 522. Officers of the DPP have had operational discussions with the AFP.

(3) On 27 April 1999 the DPP received a letter enclosing far more material than had previously been provided. On 4 May 1999 the DPP informed the correspondent that the AFP had responsibility for investigating the offences against the laws of the Commonwealth and noted that the material had also been provided to the AFP. On 11 May 1999 the DPP received a letter from a different source offering to provide information and documents about the matter. On 17 May 1999 the DPP informed this correspondent that the matters raised in the letter should be referred to the AFP and noted that the letter had been copied to the AFP.

(4) The DPP informed the Industrial Registrar on 2 November 1998 that the DPP had no investigation function or powers to investigate possible offences and that investigation responsibility rested with the administering agency or AFP. Since receiving the letters referred to in answer (3), officers of the DPP have had discussions of an operational nature with the AFP.

(5) The DPP did not have enough material to make a decision and informed the Industrial Registrar accordingly.

(6) No.