It seems the Australian newspaper after all won’t let this scandal go through to the keeper:
The former union official and alleged bagman for a financial scandal linked to the then boyfriend of Julia Gillard wants to give evidence for the first time to police and prosecutors about his role and the conduct of others.
The Australian can reveal that Ralph Blewitt, a one-time branch head for the Australian Workers Union, is seeking immunity from criminal prosecution in return for breaking a 17-year silence and providing a statement to police.
In interviews with The Australian, Mr Blewitt has spoken of his past actions and those of his then best friend and AWU boss Bruce Wilson.
He has also discussed the Prime Minister's relationship with Mr Wilson and her simultaneous legal work for the union in her 1990s role as an industrial lawyer and partner at Slater & Gordon solicitors.
"I could face criminal charges," he said…
Mr Blewitt is the former legal owner of a house in Melbourne's inner-city suburb of Fitzroy that was used by Mr Wilson and allegedly bought with misappropriated AWU funds in a transaction handled and part-financed by Slater & Gordon.
The terrace house in Kerr Street later became part of a major police and union investigation as Mr Blewitt and Mr Wilson were accused of illegally siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from the AWU, including funds companies such as Thiess handed over in the belief it was to pay for members' courses and training.
Most of the funds that allegedly went missing had been paid into an entity, the AWU Workplace Reform Association. Ms Gillard did legal work associated with establishment of the association as part of her role working for the union. At the time, Mr Wilson and Ms Gillard were in a close relationship. The Prime Minister has repeatedly and strenuously denied that she had any knowledge of what the association was going to be used for, and has also denied receiving any benefit.
Ms Gillard yesterday declined to respond to specific questions put to her office by The Australian and referred the newspaper to her previous strong denials of wrongdoing. Mr Wilson, who was ousted from the union, has in the past strenuously denied any wrongdoing and he was not charged after probes by the AWU and police into the matter.
Excellent background by reporter Hedley Thomas, including this detail about the house that Slater & Gordon helped Wilson to buy:
The record shows that the firm’s then senior partner, Peter Gordon, wrote to the Industrial Relations Court on August 26, 1996 to acknowledge “a copy of a subpoena for production of records directed to this firm with respect to a file held by this office with respect to a former client, Mr Ralph Blewitt”. By then, Gillard had departed Slater & Gordon, which had abruptly ceased acting for Wilson and Blewitt....
Blewitt makes no allegations against Gordon nor does The Australian suggest Gordon was involved in or aware of any wrongdoing.
Gillard at the helm of the sinking ship ALP has been nothing short of a rolling disaster – First her carbon tax lie, her complete border protection failure and now this scandal that refuses to go away.
No wonder Labor will be annihilated at the next federal election.