– Victoria Police will seek to use documents taken from prominent law firm Slater & Gordon in framing potential criminal charges over the Australian Workers Union slush fund scandal.
Fraud Squad detectives are expected to appear before a Melbourne magistrate within two weeks to obtain approval to use documents seized under warrant last month from the firm.
But sources close to one of the biggest Victorian fraud investigations in recent years said it appeared unlikely any charges would be laid before the end of this year, well after the September 14th federal election.
The investigation focuses on the 1993 purchase of a Fitzroy house involving some of the hundreds of thousands of dollars allegedly misappropriated from the AWU Workplace Reform Association by former senior AWU official Bruce Wilson, who was then the boyfriend of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Ms Gillard, then a partner at Slater & Gordon, gave legal advice in relation to establishing the association – ostensibly for promoting work safety and training – which she later confirmed to be a “slush fund” to bankroll union elections.
She later created a power of attorney to enable Mr Wilson to buy the property in Kerr Street, Fitzroy, in the name of union crony Ralph Blewitt.
Mr Blewitt has confirmed in a statement to police that he was involved in fraud but both Ms Gillard and Mr Wilson have vehemently denied any illegal or improper conduct.
Detectives are believed to have removed two boxes of documents from the Latrobe Street head offices of Slater & Gordon, including one labelled “Wilson”.
They are expected to return to court on July 1st to obtain approval to use material from the files.
Police last week approached law firm Galbally Rolfe, representing Mr Blewitt, who lives in Malaysia, seeking confirmation of his consent to lift confidentiality over material relating to the Fitzroy deal.
Mr Blewitt, who says he did not sign the Wilson power of attorney until after the property was purchased and that he never benefited from the deal, has already publicly waived client privilege over his dealings with Slater & Gordon.
It is not known whether the firm or Mr Wilson will seek to argue in court to prevent the use in any prosecutions of material seized by the Fraud Squad.
A spokesperson for Slater & Gordon declined to respond when asked where it would take legal action to defend the confidentiality of documents relating to its clients or staff. “Slater & Gordon will not give on-going commentary on any police investigation,” the firm said in a formal statement.
“We have previously stated that we would cooperate with any authority in respect of this matter, consistent with our professional obligations.”
A team involving as many as 12 detectives has worked on the AWU investigation since late last year.
It is believed they have interviewed more than 60 people including former employees of Slater & Gordon who have provided important leads.
Sources said it was unlikely any charges would be laid before the election, but this was due to the complexity of the investigation rather than any desire to avoid embarrassing the government – Mark Baker


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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