Craig Thomson’s lawyer, Chris McArdle, has clearly committed the criminal offences of attempting to pervert the course of justice and perjuring himself in an affidavit in his role of defending Craig Thomson. The evidence for this is 2 contradictory affidavits filed in court and signed by Mr McArdle. Mr McArdle could quite easily end up doing more jail time than Craig Thomson.
This only came to light last week because Chris McArdle started breach of contract proceedings against the Labor Party saying they have not paid him $35,000 he claims they said they would to represent Craig Thomson. In doing so Mr McArdle filed and signed an affidavit in the NSW Local Court dated the 24th July 2013. (Click here to read the affidavit on the Crikey website).
The claims made in this affidavit contradict a previous affidavit Mr McArdle filed and signed on the 20th March 2013 while representing Craig Thomson in the Federal Court of Australia before Justice Jessup. The bottom line is that Mr McArdle deliberately lied, deceived and withheld information in March from Justice Jessup in an attempt to pervert the course of justice. (Click here to read the affidavit)
I have published a number of posts on this matter and it is finally starting to come to a head in a major way. I raised the possibility that Chris McArdle had lied in his March affidavit in the first post I published on the 21st April titled “Craig Thomson MP – Who’s paying his legal bills? Which union is it?” where I said:
“It is rather odd that Craig Thomson did not write the affidavit, as per above, himself given it outlines his and his wife’s financial position. The purpose of the affidavit is to assist his application, which was heard last week by Justice Jessup, to have the civil matters by FWA stayed until the criminal matters are heard and dealt with. Justice Jessup has reserved his judgement.”
“The affidavit implies a story of hardship with little money and large legal costs as a reason why the civil matters should be stayed. But this argument could not be supported if the TWU or someone else was paying his legal bills. If Craig Thomson had written the affidavit himself he would have had to declare that the TWU is paying his legal bills or lie in the affidavit which is a criminal offence.”
“Solution! Have his lawyer write the affidavit and if later caught out that the TWU or another union is paying the legal bills, then he can just say he never told his lawyer as he did not think it was relevant and his lawyer never misled the court. Problem solved.” (Click here to read the post)
In his latest July Affidavit Mr McArdle says that he was promised the $35,000 by NSW Labor Party secretary Sam Dastyari on the 21st February 2013 which predates his March Affidavit.
So the obvious question is why did Mr McArdle not mention the $35,000 in his March affidavit. The answer is simply, because it would not have helped his cause to have the civil charges stayed against Craig Thomson while the criminal charges were afoot. Mr McArdle had argued in his March affidavit how poor Craig Thomson was and how large his legal bills were. Well to Mr McArdle’s knowledge at the time, as the July affidavit shows, Craig Thomson’s legal bills were not as large as he said in his March affidavit as he was guaranteed at least $35,000 by the Labor Party to pay them which he knowingly left out of the March affidavit.
Lying in an affidavit is a criminal offence and Mr McArdle has clearly done that. As I have previously written in relation to his March affidavit: “Christopher McArdle who wrote the affidavit is representing Mr Thomson for the civil proceedings and says that he has already billed Mr Thomson ”about $50,000 in legal fees” yet makes no mention if he has been paid the money or if he has by who”.
At the time of writing that in his 20th March affidavit Mr McArdle had already invoiced the Labor Party $35,000 as his July affidavit shows. He was meant to be paid in two instalments, $25,000 seven days after the 21st of February and $10,000 ten days after that which he invoiced the Labor Party for on the 4th of March as the July affidavit says. So how can he say in his March affidavit that he had already billed Mr Thomson about $50,000 when in fact he had billed the Labor Party $35,000. Does that mean Craig Thomson was only billed $15,000? Or was the $50,000 on top of what he had billed the Labor Party? If that is the case then why is the $35,000 not in the affidavit?
This story has got plenty of legs and is starting to heat up and should be an election issue if the other political parties raised it. If you are new to the story then it is worth reading the other posts that I have done on it: (Click on the links below)
TWU and Tony Sheldon
I stand by the post I published on Tony Sheldon and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) setting up a slush fund to pay Mr Thomson’s legal bills. In Mr McArdle’s July affidavit he says that he agreed to draft the invoices in his company name, Alanida Pty Ltd, and not his law firm’s name and the invoices would be drafted as specified by the second respondent (Sam Dastyari). I would love to see those invoices and whose name they are made out to. Maybe the TWU Slush fund?
It was reported on Friday in The Australian in relation to the $35,000 that Sam Dastyari said:
“We made clear long ago that we would not pay any of Craig Thomson’s legal bills once he ceased to be a member of the ALP,” Mr Dastyari said
But Mr Dastyari would not confirm or deny specific claims by Mr McArdle that the powerful ALP official came to his office on two occasions to discuss precise arrangements to provide $35,000 towards Mr Thomson’s defence
“would also not comment on whether he had offered to find money to support Mr Thomson’s defence from sources other than the ALP”. (Click here to read more)
The above goes a long way to show why Tony Sheldon did not follow through with his threat to sue me for defamation as I suspect a lot of people in the Labor Party would know about the deal and Mr Sheldon is Vice President of the Party. Mr McArdle has been representing Mr Thomson since at least last October (2012) and would not have waited until this year to have fee payments guaranteed being paid. So who guaranteed them last year?
It also says in the July affidavit that Craig Thomson knew about the agreement to pay the $35,000 which helps explain why Craig Thomson did not file an affidavit in March as to his and his wife’s financial affairs and instead had Mr McArdle file an affidavit. Mr McArdle I suspect would regret doing that now.
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