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Thursday, 8 September 1983
Page: 640

Question No. 203

Mr Jacobi asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 24 May 1983:

(1) What is the current status of any proceedings under the Crimes Act 1914 in relation to Mr Brian Maher.

(2) Has counsel been briefed in the prosecution proceedings against Mr Maher through the Crown Solicitor's Office; if so, (a) what are the details and (b) has Mr Gyles, QC, in his capacity as Special Prosecutor, been appointed to act in these proceedings.

(3) Has any other action been initiated against Mr Maher other than under the Crimes Act 1914.

Mr Lionel Bowen —The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) On 28 October 1982 a complaint was sworn before a Justice of the Peace in Perth alleging that Mr Maher had, contrary to section 86 (1) (e) of the Commonwealth Crimes Act 1914, conspired to defraud the Commonwealth and a warrant issued for his arrest. Committal proceedings were set down to commence on 21 June 1983. On 27 April 1983 a Stipendiary Magistrate in Queensland made an order for the extradition of Mr Maher to Perth. Mr Maher has appealed against this order and the appeal is expected to be heard on 1 September 1983. Pending a decision on the appeal no other action is being taken.

(2) The Special Prosecutor, Mr R. Gyles, QC, has the carriage of the prosecution and the Acting Deputy Crown Solicitor, Perth, is instructed in the matter by the Special Prosecutor. The Acting Deputy Crown Solicitor has briefed Mr M. Lee of counsel to appear in the prosecution proceedings.

(3) I am not aware of any other action initiated by the Commonwealth against Mr Maher.