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Albanese: Facts took a while in 'Slippergate' as Liberals duck for cover over court stoush


Peter Slipper - Will he emerge
 unscathed from the Liberal
National attack on his credibility?
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has likened the Peter Slipper affair to America's Watergate scandal and called for a full disclosure of information from all the parties involved.

Mr Slipper, who stood aside as parliamentary Speaker earlier this year, is being sued by staffer James Ashby over allegations of sexual harassment.

The Federal Court heard evidence on Friday that Mr Ashby and another Slipper staffer first sought to undermine their boss by providing a journalist with information about the allegations, which was subsequently widely reported by newspapers.

Julian Burnside QC, lawyer for the commonwealth, also alleged that Mr Ashby provided politically sensitive material to Mr Slipper's political opponents, including Howard-era minister Mal Brough.

Mr Albanese likened the case on Saturday to the Watergate scandal, in which evidence about President Nixon's administration was passed to journalists and subsequently appeared in the Washington Post.

"What occurred during Watergate was that people attempted to obtain information in a way that wasn't legal and wasn't appropriate," he said.

"It is also the case that it took a while for the facts to come out."

Mr Albanese said once the facts of the Slipper case were fully unravelled in court, the public would be able to make a judgment.

And he called on all those involved to fully disclose their roles.

"I think it is in everyone's interest, given the way the allegations were made so publicly and so dramatically, that there be full transparency in this.

"And that all the information be out there in full public view so that people can make their own decisions about what the involvement was in this."

www.BrisbaneTimes.com.au

16.6.12