Bombshell claims have been made about South Australia’s opposition leader who made a complaint to police that resulted in charges being laid against a former party member.
Bombshell claims have been made about South Australia’s opposition leader who was accused of wearing a wire to secretly record conversations.
Peter Malinauskas was also accused of being trained to look like “a victim” after “instigating” blackmail charges against a former party member and her husband.
Court documents released to the media on Monday laid bare Annabel Digance’s shock accusations about Mr Malinauskas.
Annabel, 63, and her husband Greg Digance, 61, were each charged with blackmailing the Labor leader over alleged threats to make allegations of misconduct to politically wound him before the next state election in March next year.
The alleged threats were made between February and March in 2020 in a move to get Mrs Digance back into politics.
She held the Labor seat for Elder between 2014 and 2018.
In the defence documents released on Monday, Mrs Digance has argued for the case to be thrown out, asserting she has no case to answer and her prosecution is an abuse of process.
The defendant has accused Mr Malinauskas of complaining to police to shut down a Select Committee Inquiry into allegations of bullying and intimidation within South Australia’s Labor Party.
According to the documents, there were two occasions early last year where Mr Malinauskas secretly recorded private discussions with the two defendants — a move Mrs Digance said was “deceitful”.
She claimed the party leader had been wired up by SA Police on the second occasion and went to “extraordinary yet entirely unsuccessful lengths” to try “entrap the Digance’s into the commission of an alleged offence”.
It was also alleged in the Rule 20 document that a senior Detective from SA Police liaised with Mr Malinauskas prior to the allegations being made public where he gave the Labor leader advice on how he could look like “a victim” in the public eye.
When the couple were arrested at their Strathalbyn home and driven to the City Watch House in April, the documents claimed another Detective sitting beside Mrs Digance in that vehicle told her to duck when media “swarmed” the car.
“In the result, photographs and videos of Mrs Digance ducking — with all the pejorative implications suggestive of consciousness of guilt on Mrs Digance’s part — we’re thereafter sensationally disseminated through local state and national media,” the documents read.
“Mrs Digance respectfully submits that she was deliberately placed in this situation by the police so that she would be portrayed in the public mind as a person guilty of a serious criminal offence and thus depriving her of the right to be accorded due process and an unprejudiced hearing.”
During Monday’s court hearing, defence counsel for both Mr and Mrs Digance were in favour of the media’s request to view the court documents.
However, prosecutor Jemma Litster said she was opposed because the contents of the documents would be discussed in the couple’s next court hearing and would be “premature”.
Magistrate Simon Smart granted access.
The Digance’s are due to reappear in court on Thursday where defence counsel will argue why witnesses, including Mr Malinauskas, should be called.
It has been previously stated in court that the Digance’s want Mr Malinauskas, the lead investigator from SA Police and current ALP state secretary Reggie Martin to be cross examined.