Nervous wait for embattled Labor MP

Craig Thomson

Senior police sources said Craig Thomson had use of the American Express card for two years. Picture: Jane Dempster
Source: The Daily Telegraph

LABOR MP Craig Thomson could face up to seven years’ jail if charged and found guilty of receiving secret commissions after police confirmed he received an American Express card from a union supplier.

Senior NSW Police have been informed by American Express in the US that Mr Thomson and Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson were both supplied with credit cards by John Gilleland.

Communigraphix, a graphic design business run by Mr Gilleland, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to produce the HSU newsletter, Health Standard.

Senior police sources say Mr Thomson – who would be forced to resign from Parliament if charged and ultimately found guilty – had use of the American Express card for two years.

The explosive developments will rock the Gillard Government, which is relying on Mr Thomson fending off multiple allegations that he rorted union funds.

The Labor MP is currently on parliamentary leave for the birth of his child.

Well-placed sources claim he will argue that he had the card only briefly.

Under NSW law, people found to have received an inducement to behave in a certain way may face criminal charges, and a potential jail sentence of seven years.

The use of the American Express cards forms part of the NSW Police investigation into allegations of financial wrongdoing by the two men.

Mr Williamson, who has stood down as HSU national president and as the ALP’s federal vice-president, and Mr Thomson both face allegations they used union funds to pay for personal items.

The Herald Sun believes NSW Police have been told “unofficially” by American Express of the existence of the Gilleland cards and were awaiting documents.

Contacted yesterday, Mr Thomson said: “I have done nothing wrong. While the police are investigating, there is nothing more that I can say, but I will co-operate with the police.”

A “comprehensive statement” he had promised to make had ben delayed due to the police inquiries.

Mr Williamson’s solicitor Vivian Evans, last night said: “On legal advice, Mr Williamson is not making any comments.”

Mr Gilleland was unavailable for comment yesterday.


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