Brough facing 'ramped up' AFP probe on Slipper diaries

Mal Brough
Mal Brough File

SUNSHINE Coast MP Mal Brough is facing a "ramped up" investigation by federal police who are seeking court approval to use evidence from a previous civil case against Peter Slipper.

Mr Brough is under investigation by the Australian Federal Police over the copying of former Speaker Peter Slipper's diary.

The LNP MP has denied any wrongdoing, saying he was only helping former Slipper staffer James Ashby who came to him alleging Mr Slipper has sexually harassed him.

The ABC reported on Friday that the AFP had made an application to the Federal Court, which, if granted, would allow police to use evidence from an earlier civil case in a criminal prosecution.

That evidence includes text and picture messages exchanged between Mr Ashby, and Mr Brough.

The AFP executed a search warrant at Mr Brough's home and that of Mr Ashby.

Mr Ashby made copies of Mr Slipper's diary which were sent to Mr Brough and former News Corp journalist Steve Lewis.

The intention was to show how Mr Slipper misused his government Cabcharge vouchers.

A long-running investigation by the Sunshine Coast Daily showed how Mr Slipper has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayers money on travel, even while he was just a backbencher.

Mal Brough resigned from the front bench over his alleged involvement in getting the Slipper diaries.

The ABC reports that the AFP has asked the Federal Court to grant it permission to use the material harvested from Mr Ashby's phone, including excerpts from Mr Slipper's diary sent by Mr Ashby to Mr Brough.

Mr Ashby's sexual harassment suit was rejected by a Federal Court judge, who said Mr Ashby had been part of a "combination" including Mr Brough, which had used the legal action as a political weapon against Mr Slipper.

Mr Brough emphatically denies this.

The AFP is investigating whether Mr Brough committed a crime by encouraging Mr Ashby to copy pages of Mr Slipper's diary.

Mr Brough has announced he has no plans to contest the upcoming federal election.

Topics:  james ashby mal brough peter slipper politics

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