Former Sunshine Coast MP and Speaker Peter Slipper
Former Sunshine Coast MP and Speaker Peter Slipper

Mal Brough, James Ashby cleared by AFP over Slipper saga

AFTER more than two years of investigating, the Australian Federal Police have found former Sunshine Coast MP Mal Brough and advisor James Ashby have no case to answer over the leaking of Peter Slipper's official diary in 2012.

Mr Ashby, an advisor for Mr Slipper while he was Speaker, was accused of copying then leaking the MP's diary.

Mr Ashby was allegedly acting under direction from Mr Brough, who would later defeat Mr Slipper as the pair contested the seat of Fisher on the Sunshine Coast.
 

Special Minister of State and Member for Fisher Mal Brough apologises for 'unwittingly' misleading Parliament
Special Minister of State and Member for Fisher Mal Brough apologises for 'unwittingly' misleading Parliament

Mr Slipper had by that time defected from the Coalition and was standing as an independent against the LNP-endorsed Mr Brough.

Although the apparent theft and distribution of the diary was claimed to have occurred in March 2012, the AFP was only called to investigate in September 2014.

Now the AFP has confirmed to ABC News that the case had been "finalised".

It told the ABC:

"In September 2014 the AFP received a request to investigate matters relating to the alleged unauthorised disclosure of information from the official diary of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper. the statement read.

"Following a thorough investigation material was provided to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for certain advice.

"As a result of the advice provided by the CDPP the matter did not proceed further."

In 2012, Mr Ashby also launched a sexual harassment claim against his former boss. He lost the case later that year.
 

James Ashby - former staffer of Peter Slipper. November 26, 2015. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily
James Ashby - former staffer of Peter Slipper. November 26, 2015. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily Patrick Woods

After winning the seat of Fisher in 2013, Mr Brough went on to be named Special Minister of State after Malcolm Turnbull ousted Tony Abbott to become Prime Minister in September last year.

Mr Brough later stood down from the role in December.

He denied any wrongdoing, criticising the long-running AFP investigation for taking "so much longer than anyone could possibly imagine".

Mr Ashby has since become the chief of staff to One Nation Senator and party leader Pauline Hanson.



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