Ebene News – AU – South African government forced into minority after accusation of MP in ICAC investigation

South Australia’s Liberal government was forced out of the minority after first-term Liberal MP Fraser Ellis told the state parliament he was indicted after an investigation by the state anti-corruption watchdog

At the end of a late-night marathon session in which Parliament passed a controversial abortion bill, Mr. Ellis rose after 2 a.m. to reveal that he had been charged with offenses arising from an investigation by the Independent Corruption Commissioner (ICAC)

“I would like to take this rather unconventional time to inform the Chamber that yesterday I was charged with alleged offenses arising from the recent ICAC investigation into member countries’ accommodation allowance” said M Ellis

“I am completely innocent and will vigorously defend these allegations to the best of my ability and the law

“I am making this statement now, Mr. President, knowing that there has been no public statement from the ICAC or the prosecution because I have nothing to hide, my conscience is clear”

M Ellis was one of several government MPs investigated by the corruption watchdog over their use of the country’s members’ housing allowance

M Ellis has repeatedly asserted his innocence, but repaid $ 42,130 he claimed from the program while staying at the Adelaide residence of a fellow parliamentarian

“Any mistake in a complaint form filled out by a relatively inexperienced member was simply a mistake

“There is a significant difference between an error and any proof beyond a reasonable doubt of a crime in court

“These are the result of genuine mistakes from a new member for which I have already apologized”

He said he suspended his membership in the Liberal Party and would cross-bench while the trial against him continues

Its move to the cross-bench means that the Liberal government only holds 23 seats in the 47-seat parliament

“People are also rather alarmed that he informed the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister said absolutely nothing about it, although he had the opportunity to do so”, said M Malinauskas

“This speaks to a level of secrecy which… I think South Australians are alarmed

“We now have a liberal marshall government which was elected with a majority and lost it and which has thrown the government into chaos just as Southern Australians seek stability in the leadership”

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Fraser Ellis

Ebene News – AU-South Africa government forced into minority after MP was indicted in ICAC investigation

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-19/liberal-fraser-ellis-charged-by-icac-over-country-mps-allowance/13170844