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Based on an extensive diary record for the 1994-96 period by former AWU senior official Ian Cambridge, The Australian has today published considerable detail (occupying a third of the front page and the whole of page 4) about events related to the establishment of the slush fund by Gillard’s then boy friend and AWU official, Bruce Wilson (see below). Specifically, today’s edition reports that Wilson arranged for $5,000 to be paid into Gillard’s bank account in 1995, although no evidence is provided as to the possible reason for the deposit.

As a Commissioner at the Fair Work Australia tribunal, reportedly appointed by Gillard to get him out of the way, Cambridge is now unable to make public comments on the slush fund events. However he was obviously prepared to hand over his diary to The Australian, possibly reflecting his advocacy at the time for a Royal Commission into AWU corruption.

Prior to today’s publication, The Australian gave Gillard the opportunity to answer five questions but she declined to do so and accused The Australian of being “unable to substantiate any allegations of wrongdoing”.

Importantly, however, The Australian indicates that it “intends to publish a number of articles related to disclosures in the diary entries, as well as our subsequent investigations”. These seem likely to be of considerable interest and, inter alia, to expose threats by unions of disruptions to businesses unless compo was paid. References are made in the material below to several companies who apparently paid such compo.

Also relevant is the indication that Blewitt, Wilsons’ associate or “side-kick” in union language, is taking action through a lawyer to spill the beans. The circumstances provide an opportunity for him to obtain immunity from prosecution – unless Canberra is able to stop that happening. An article in today’s Herald Sun (see below) reports Blewitt’s lawyer as saying outright that the purchase by Wilson of a property in Fitzroy “was with stolen money”. Reportedly, Gillard attended the auction and often visited the property. Note also that Slater and Gordon’s current MD is reported as indicating that “the PM also ‘acted directly’ in conveyancing work on the property purchase”. This contradicts the claim by Mark Latham in the AFR that Gillard had nothing to do with the conveyancing.

Separately, it is reported in The Australian that, over last week-end, Gillard changed her mind about announcing a Royal Commission on sexual abuse of children. Whatever the merits of a Royal Commission (very few produce substantive results), this could also be regarded as part of the current “announcement strategy” and may help to reduce publicity on other matters. It has certainly produced considerable media coverage on the issue, particularly by our old friend the ABC.

Des Moore

Whistleblower Wayne Hem alerted AWU's national secretary to $5000 payment to Julia Gillard

Hedley Thomas and Pia Akerman, The Australian, November 14, 2012

A UNION employee who was concerned about wrongdoing told the national head of the Australian Workers Union in June 1996 that he deposited about $5000 cash into Julia Gillard's bank account at the request of her then boyfriend Bruce Wilson.

The disclosure by Wayne Hem forms part of a contemporaneous and confidential 150-plus-page diary that was kept by the then AWU joint national secretary, Ian Cambridge, now a Fair Work Australia commissioner.

The 1994-96 diary, which recounts hitherto unknown numerous events and conversations during the AWU fraud scandal, has been obtained and its authenticity verified by The Australian.

In a statutory declaration signed in Melbourne on Sunday and in lengthy interviews with The Australian over the past fortnight, Mr Hem declared he had deposited the money after being given the account details of Ms Gillard along with a wad of $100 and $50 notes by Mr Wilson, an official in the AWU's Victorian branch.

Ms Gillard, then a salaried partner at law firm Slater & Gordon, was Mr Wilson's girlfriend and solicitor at the time.

Ms Gillard had provided legal advice in 1992 that helped Mr Wilson and his union ally, Ralph Blewitt, set up a slush fund - the AWU Workplace Reform Association - which the two men used in the ensuing years to issue bogus invoices and fraudulently receive hundreds of thousands of dollars. Police are understood to have asked Mr Blewitt's lawyer, Bob Galbally, whether the former unionist would provide details about the slush fund. Mr Galbally said his client was happy to co-operate with Victorian fraud squad officers.

Ms Gillard, who has at all times strenuously insisted that she did not do anything wrong and was unaware of the workings of the association, yesterday declined to answer questions from The Australian.

The Prime Minister repeated her denial of any wrongdoing, but declined to comment directly on the alleged payment despite detailed questions being put to her. It is not known where Mr Wilson got the funds and there is no evidence, nor is it suggested, that Ms Gillard asked for the payment or knew of its origins.

The Prime Minister issued a short statement through spokesman Sean Kelly.

"As The Australian is well aware, the Prime Minister has made clear on numerous occasions that she was not involved in any wrongdoing," Mr Kelly said.

"I also note that despite repeatedly being asked to do so, The Australian has been unable to substantiate any allegations of wrongdoing."

Mr Hem said that he first spoke of the bank deposit to Mr Cambridge on June 7, 1996, during a car journey in Melbourne at a time when the AWU joint national secretary was conducting a relentless inquiry into alleged fraud.

The June 7, 1996, diary entry by Mr Cambridge states: "During the course of the conversation with Wayne Hem he told me about an event that took place in about July last year (1995).

"This event involved Bruce Wilson handing Wayne an envelope which contained approximately $5000 in $100 and $50 notes and Wilson instructed Hem to deposit this $5000 into a personal account of Julia Gillard.

"I indicated to Wayne that given his knowledge of these things I would have a further chat with him once I had been up to the Industrial Relations Commission and that in all likelihood he may well be subpoenaed to appear in proceedings in the Industrial Relations Court, or elsewhere.

"Hem said to me that that did not worry him and that he was quite prepared to tell what he knew about certain events involving Bruce Wilson and others."

The Australian has verified the authenticity of the diary with Mr Cambridge, who has described it as a "contemporaneous record of events and discussions that occurred during 1995 and 1996"

Mr Cambridge said the diary "included contemporaneous records of conversations with individuals about various matters, some of which were not within my direct knowledge and which I was unable to verify".

Mr Cambridge said his position as a member of a quasi-judicial tribunal made it inappropriate "to now offer any public comment about these issues".

Mr Hem's newly signed declaration attests to the approximate $5000 cash deposit he made to Ms Gillard's account as well as other cheques he was separately instructed to deposit into Mr Wilson's other secret slush fund, the AWU Members Welfare Association (No 1) Account.

The Australian has independently verified from internal Commonwealth Bank documents in 1995 that Mr Hem was signatory for deposits of a number of cheques totalling more than $100,000 into that slush fund account.

In interviews with The Australian, Mr Hem described how Mr Wilson had visited the new casino in Melbourne and looked severely dishevelled at work the next day when he asked Mr Hem to deposit the cash.

"He came into my office and then said to me, 'Come down to my office in a minute'," said Mr Hem, who left the AWU in 1997.

"I went down and he handed me about five grand. He said, 'There's five grand there', and I looked at it and said 'Is this for me?' He said 'No, I want you to put it into a bank account.' I said 'OK' then he said 'Hang on, I'll give you the bank -account name and number.'

"I am still holding this wad of cash in my hand. By this stage Bill (Telikostoglou, aka 'Bill the Greek') had walked into the room and he said some strange Greek thing about how I must have had better luck than he did (at the casino) last night.

"Then Bruce handed me a piece of paper with the account number and a name on it, and it was Julia's name. He said, 'Go put this in Julia's account.' I said OK."

Mr Hem said he had known Ms Gillard was in a relationship with Mr Wilson at that time and that she was a solicitor for Slater & Gordon.

"I just went down to the bank, put it in, came back, gave him the receipt. I was thinking to myself at the time when everything blew up, why didn't I keep that bank account number."

Mr Hem said he remembered telling Mr Cambridge about the cash deposit a year later "because Ian had asked me had there been anything strange".

"I told him about the wad of cash and putting it in Julia's account," he said.

"I didn't know if it was for Julia or if the account was a private account or a Slater & Gordon account.

"It just had Julia Gillard's name on it and I put it in the bank account."

Several weeks after his conversation with Mr Cambridge, Mr Hem flew to Sydney on the orders of the AWU to provide an affidavit of his dealings with Mr Wilson.

Mr Hem has vowed he would give further evidence if called before any new investigation into the AWU scandal.

Mr Hem said he was instructed by Mr Wilson to regularly deposit cheques from large companies into accounts controlled by Mr Wilson.

Mr Hem alleged serious fraud took place at the union during the time that Mr Wilson was there.

He said police investigations came to nothing.

"No one came to me from the fraud squad and said, 'Do you know what happened, can you tell us anything'," Mr Hem said. "I would have told them then and there what exactly happened."

He said that after the scams and several of the secret bank accounts were uncovered in 1995, Mr Wilson suddenly left.

Mr Blewitt has previously offered to tell police about the fraud at the AWU if he was guaranteed immunity from prosecution.

Mr Blewitt's lawyer yesterday confirmed Victoria Police had contacted him to see whether his client would provide a statement, but were still awaiting instructions on whether the guarantee could be made.

Money trail reveals a trusted union man

HEDLEY THOMAS and PIA AKERMAN The Australian, November 14, 2012

BANK documents show the man who claims he was told to pay about $5000 into Julia Gillard's bank account was entrusted to deposit more than $100,000 in cheques into an Australian Workers Union secret slush fund.

Wayne Hem, 58, told The Australian in interviews and in a statutory declaration that he was given the cheques in mid-1995 and told to put them into "a bank account for something I recall as the AWU Welfare Fund".

He said that Ms Gillard's then boyfriend Bruce Wilson, the corrupt branch head of the AWU, handed him the cheques on several occasions and told him to go to the Commonwealth Bank to make the deposits.

The Prime Minister last night declined to comment directly on the alleged $5000 payment despite detailed questions being put to her. "As The Australian is well aware, the Prime Minister has made clear on numerous occasions that she was not involved in any wrongdoing," a spokesman for Ms Gillard said.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and says she had no knowledge of the operations of a separate AWU slush fund that she helped to set up. It is not known where Mr Wilson got the funds allegedly deposited in Ms Gillard's account, and there is no evidence nor is it suggested she asked for the payment or knew of its origins.

The Australian has examined internal Commonwealth Bank records that were subpoenaed and obtained by AWU national leader Ian Cambridge during investigations into the fraud in the Victoria branch 17 years ago.

Those internal bank records show Mr Hem's signature on deposit slips and confirm that he made the cheque payments, as he subsequently claimed.

Cheques totalling $49,660 were deposited on June 13, 1995, into the "AWU Members Welfare Association No 1 Account", and Mr Hem was the signatory at the bank in Melbourne.

The companies that drew those cheques were law firm Phillips Fox (on behalf of oil and gas company Woodside), Thiess, John Holland and Chamber Consulting.

Further cheque deposits totalling $54,600 were made on July 13, 1995, into the same account, which was subsequently identified as a secret union slush fund controlled by Mr Wilson.

The companies that drew the second batch of July 13 cheques were John Holland, Fluor Daniel and Chamber Consulting.

Other cheque deposits totalling $39,000 (from Phillips Fox on behalf of Woodside) occurred on June 19, 1995, however, the bank's pay slip does not include the signature of the person who made the deposit.

Mr Hem, an archivist, said in his statutory declaration, signed on November 11 this year, and obtained by The Australian: "The cheques were made out from building companies including Thiess, and were for thousands of dollars at the time.

"On Wilson's instruction, I went to the Commonwealth Bank and deposited the cheques into the aforementioned account, receiving a receipt, which I gave to Wilson," Mr Hem said.

"Wilson asked me to deposit similar cheques to the same account at other times after this event.

"During my time at the AWU, I also became suspicious because building disputes which had been a problem would suddenly disappear with little explanation.

"Wilson asked me to deliver correspondence from the building companies involved in these disputes directly to him."

In a September 1996 affidavit filed in the Industrial Relations Court, the AWU's national head Mr Cambridge named the Victorian Welfare slush fund account as one "used to hold and/or launder union funds, as a step in the conversion of those funds to unauthorised, invalid, irregular and possibly illegal uses".

Mr Cambridge stated in his affidavit that the account was unknown to other union officials, and involved payments totalling $234,000.

He stated that the companies that drew the cheques had subsequently told him during his investigations that they were led to believe the money was for legitimate union purposes.

Mr Cambridge called for a royal commission into AWU corruption at the time. He was supported by AWU president Bill Ludwig in pushing for investigations by fraud squad police in Victoria and Western Australia.

Ex-union staffer recalls $5k deposit for 'Julia'

HEDLEY THOMAS and PIA AKERMAN The Australian, November 14, 2012

WAYNE Hem, a former union employee, needs little prompting when asked by The Australian about what he might have told the then AWU boss Ian Cambridge 16 years ago during a car journey in Melbourne.

Mr Hem said he remembered the conversation with Mr Cambridge well. He said he told Mr Cambridge about AWU official Bruce Wilson, a wad of cash, Julia Gillard, and a visit by Mr Hem to a bank in Melbourne.

Sixteen years ago, on June 7, 1996, those are some of the details that Mr Cambridge noted in a contemporaneous diary entry that described his conversation with Mr Hem that same day.

"He (Wilson) asked me to put it into an account under the name of Julia," Mr Hem told The Australian, leaning forward on the couch of his Melbourne home.

"I remember that because he had been to the casino the night before."

The former union staffer went on to describe how Mr Wilson, looking "like death warmed up", had asked him to put the $5000 in cash into a bank account held under the name of Julia Gillard.

"I knew she was a solicitor," Mr Hem said. "I remember telling Ian because Ian had asked me had there been anything strange."

Ms Gillard yesterday repeated her denial of any wrongdoing, but declined to comment directly on the alleged payment despite detailed questions being put to the Prime Minister. It is not known where Mr Wilson got the funds, and there is no evidence, nor is it suggested, Ms Gillard asked for the payment or knew of its origins.

As record-keeper and office assistant at the AWU in the mid-1990s, Mr Hem worked in close proximity to Bruce Wilson and his sidekick, Vassilis Telikostoglou, aka Bill the Greek.

A private man who lives alone, Mr Hem is now out of contact with most of his old union mates and said he had never before spoken publicly about his time at the AWU Melbourne office. But he added that until The Australian's visit nobody had asked him about it since 1996.

Mr Hem said he started his career as a public service mail boy, before training to become an archivist.

He joined the AWU as an industrial researcher in 1994, working two days a week before he became the union's librarian.

Mr Hem's recollections of those days reveal he did more than the usual librarian tasks. Mr Hem said he was often busy driving union officials, making bank deposits and generally running errands.

He left the AWU in 1997 once fraud allegations involving Mr Wilson had been revealed and the resulting "hullabaloo" died down.

Mr Hem speaks with a slight impediment, but he could immediately recall and independently describe his June 1996 conversation with Mr Cambridge, matched by an entry in the diary, and the day in mid-1995 that he says Mr Wilson asked him to deposit money in Ms Gillard's account.

"Bruce turned up looking like -- put it this way -- looking like death warmed up," Mr Hem said. "Scruffy shirt, shirt undone, jacket creased to the nines.

"He came into my office and then said to me, 'Come down to my office in a minute.'

"I went down and he handed me about five grand.

"He said 'There's five grand there' and I looked at it and said 'Is this for me?'

"He said 'No, I want you to put it into a bank account.'

"Then Bruce handed me a piece of paper with the account number and a name on it, and it was Julia's name. He said 'Go put this in Julia's account.' "

Attempts to contact Mr Wilson have been unsuccessful.

Mr Hem has been following the latest revelations of the AWU slush fund, wondering when his testimony would be called on and what happened to a sworn statement he says he had made for the AWU head office in Sydney in 1996. Another former union official told The Australian yesterday that he went to Sydney with Mr Hem for the meeting at AWU head office.

"I was thinking to myself at the time when everything blew up -- why didn't I keep that bank account number?" Mr Hem said.

"No one has ever asked me what exactly happened, and I would have told them then and there."

Mr Hem describes himself as apolitical and says he joined the AWU only because he was compelled to during union elections.

He is now in semi-retirement, working casually as an archivist for a Melbourne council, but remains frustrated about what went on behind the backs of the union leaders and the union membership.

Memories are fallible but diary disclosures help fill in the gaps

HEDLEY THOMAS The Australian, November 14, 2012

MEMORIES are understandably fallible after 17 years. In a matter involving a major union scam in a slush fund Julia Gillard helped set up for her then boyfriend, official Bruce Wilson, the passage of time can make it difficult to accurately reconstruct the events.

Hard documents from the period are more reliable. A diary that was updated contemporaneously by its author - so that the summary of a conversation or meeting that occurred at 1pm is spoken into a dictaphone at 2pm or sooner - is invaluable.

One union leader with a reputation for honesty and integrity, Ian Cambridge, kept such a diary. Its 150-plus closely typed A4 pages describe dozens of meetings and conversations with Labor figures, union officials, police and informants during Cambridge's pursuit of a fraud that he believed required a royal commission.

The chronology is key. On June 7, 1996 when Cambridge wrote about a tip from a union employee about money allegedly going into Gillard's bank account, the woman who would become Prime Minister was a political nobody.

Gillard was a mere solicitor who had quietly left her job at Slater & Gordon in September 1995 over her role in helping establishing the slush fund for Wilson.

She had great ambitions but her influence was relatively minor. She had lost an unwinnable contest as a Senate candidate, and was in a new job as chief of staff to the then Victorian opposition leader John Brumby. Nobody could have confidently predicted her rise to Prime Minister. A smear against her then would not have served great purpose, and Wayne Hem, who was Cambridge's informant, was not a political operator. He was an office assistant.

After Cambridge's contemporaneous record of the Hem conversation, Hem went to Sydney later in 1996 to make a formal statement for the union leadership's proposed legal proceedings. We do not know what happened to the statement after that point.

But it is vital to highlight what the Hem entry does not say - and what Hem does not say now.

He does not say Gillard ever wanted her union boss boyfriend to ask Hem to put about $5000 into her account in mid 1995.

Nor does Hem say that she knew she was receiving a financial benefit. There is no evidence of that and there could be several innocent explanations for the payment. We do know, however, that Hem was concerned about dishonesty by Wilson and this prompted him to blow the whistle.

Gillard yesterday repeated her denial of any wrongdoing but declined to comment directly on the alleged payment despite detailed questions being put to her. It is not known where Wilson got the funds and there is no evidence nor is it suggested Gillard asked for the payment or knew of its origins.

The Cambridge notes are an insider's study of a fraud scandal that threatened to tear the AWU apart and damage the career of Gillard, on the eve of her transition into politics 17 years ago.

The conversations with Cambridge described on the pages, each headed "private and confidential", occurred just minutes and hours before he pressed "record" on his dictaphone to orally recount who said what and when. The diary notes intersect tumultuous events across two years in Australia's political and industrial history, provide context to innuendo and a factual framework for scuttlebutt.

They disclose secrets exchanged between unionists, some of whom would become Labor parliamentarians such as Chris Hayes, who would fill Mark Latham's seat of Werriwa in western Sydney, and cabinet ministers including Joe Ludwig.

The notes describe the concerns of union and business figures that they will be linked to fraud and secret commissions; and a battle for union control that could have seen off Bill Ludwig, the AWU's all-powerful godfather.

With the benefit of hindsight it is plain that Australia's political, industrial and cultural future might have been fundamentally altered by the AWU fraud scandal in the mid 1990s.

Gillard's chances of becoming PM may have been compromised if the AWU had responded with characteristic aggression to the diary's disclosures about her role as a solicitor at Slater & Gordon, where she was providing legal advice to help set up the slush fund for her boyfriend, Wilson.

Historians agree that diary entries are only as good as their author - and his informants. In the case of the AWU fraud scandal, Cambridge, now a Fair Work commissioner, was relentless and methodical in his investigation of union fraud and dishonesty.

The disclosure by Hem to Cambridge came eight months after concerns were first raised publicly by a Liberal minister, Phil Gude, in Victoria's parliament, about Gillard allegedly getting a benefit in relation to the renovation of her house. Gude wanted a probe into what he was told at the time. He has insisted union officials had been to see him with evidence that Gillard was a beneficiary of union money.

Gude told the Victorian parliament in October 1995 that Gillard had been forced to leave her law firm; that she was directly linked to the misappropriation of union funds; that she had benefited from renovations to her own house; and that she had to pay money back to the AWU so that she and Wilson could "cover their tracks".

Gude made his claims a short time after Gillard's confidential tape-recorded interview on September 11, 1995, with Peter Gordon - and her abrupt departure from the firm. Its partners had lost trust and confidence in her.

Gillard told The Australian immediately after she was accused in the Victorian parliament in 1995: "Every allegation raised about me is absolutely untrue; there is not a shred of truth in any of it."

The PM declined to respond to questions about the $5000 payment alleged by Hem but has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying she had no knowledge of the fund's operations.


Dear Prime Minister,

Ian Cambridge, the former national head of the Australian Workers Union, made numerous contemporaneous diary entries at the time of the AWU fraud scandal.

These diary entries comprise more than 150 A4 typed pages. They were known to a handful of people, one of whom has provided the pages to The Australian.

We have confirmed that the diary entries are authentic – in that they reflect many actual conversations, meetings and events involving Mr Cambridge (now a Fair Work Commissioner) and other unionists, AWU employees and members, politicians, lawyers and journalists during investigations of Mr Wilson and the AWU.

The Australian intends to publish a number of articles related to disclosures in the diary entries, as well as our subsequent investigations.

One of the diary entries by Mr Cambridge, following a conversation with a union employee, discloses that this particular employee told Mr Cambridge that he was instructed by Mr Wilson to put about $5000 in cash into a bank account in the name of Julia Gillard, at the Commonwealth Bank in 1995.

This employee told Mr Cambridge that Mr Wilson gave your name, and your account details, to the employee. He said he then made the deposit. We have discussed these matters at length with the employee, who no longer works in the union movement.

He told us the diary entry is accurate. He also told us that the instruction from Mr Wilson came the morning after Mr Wilson and Bill ‘The Greek’ Telikostoglou had a late night at the casino in Melbourne.

The employee has sworn a statutory declaration that asserts these and other things. He has been checking other records that he kept from the period.

As the employee mentioned the late night that Mr Wilson had at the casino, it occurs to us that it is of course possible that Mr Wilson had a significant win there, and then lent you the money, or gave it to you as a gift.

The Australian would appreciate your responses to the following questions, which are Part A of this note, as soon as possible.

It is a matter of public record that to the best of our knowledge you have not previously been asked these questions.

1. Do you categorically reject - or can you confirm – the aforementioned sworn claims, by a former employee of the AWU in Victoria, that about $5000 was deposited into a bank account in your name in 1995.
Please elaborate.

2. Did Mr Wilson ever lend or gift significant sums of money – say, of more than $1000 - to you, prior to the revelations from about July-August 1995 of his alleged involvement in the misuse of funds?

3. If the answer to the second question above is yes, can you please describe the circumstances to the best of your recollection, and the steps you may have taken to ensure these funds were not union funds.

4. Would you have noticed an amount of about $5000 appearing in your account in 1995 if such a sum of money had not come from an obvious or regular source such as your employer?

5. Had Mr Wilson or others related to him borrowed any funds from you, to the extent that a payment of about $5000 into your account could have been repayment of same?


As The Australian is well aware, the Prime Minister has made clear on numerous occasions that she was not involved in any wrongdoing. I also note that, despite repeatedly being asked to do so, The Australian has been unable to substantiate any allegations of wrongdoing.

Police set to investigate:
Key witness to shed light on ‘slush’ fund scandal

Steve Lewis, Herald Sun, November 14, 2012

POLICE have invited a key player in the Australian Workers Union scandal to provide details about an alleged "slush" fund used by Julia Gillard's former boyfriend Bruce Wilson.

In a move that could shed fresh evidence on the 15-year-old union fraud, Victorian detectives have confirmed they are willing to speak with former AWU official Ralph Blewitt, according to his lawyer.

The testimony of Mr Blewitt, who now lives in Malaysia, would spell out the details of how up to $1 million was misappropriated between 1992 and 1995.

The Vietnam veteran has indicated he is willing to speak openly about his role in the union scandal but wants police to guarantee him immunity from prosecution.

Last night, Mr Blewitt's Melbourne-based lawyer, Bob Galbally, said his client was “happy” to co-operate with Victorian fraud squad detectives.

He expected the police would seek to investigate the scandal "on a wide basis" including details of a "slush" fund used by Mr Wilson a former state secretary of the AWU.

Known as the AWU Workplace Reform Association, the fund was used to misappropriate $400,000, according to an investigation carried out by the union management. It helped to pay for the purchase of a property in Kerr St Fitzroy by Mr Wilson – the house later used to accommodate various AWU officials. Ms Gillard, then a solicitor with Slater and Gordon, helped to register the association in Western Australia.

According to Slater and Gordon’s current managing director, Andrew Grech, the PM “acted directly” in conveyancing work on the property purchase.

Mr Galbally said he had been in direct contact with the police.

"My client is happy to make a statement to the police about the purchase of the Kerr St property. The purchase was with stolen funds," Mr Galbally told the Herald Sun.

The lawyer said Victoria Police had indicated they "are prepared to investigate the matter". But he added: "Before I take (Mr Blewitt) in for a statement, I am seeking approval from the police to him making a statement with a proviso that it should not be used in evidence against himself," Mr Galbally said. He said he expected police would "investigate on a wide basis".

Last night, Victoria Police said it was unable to comment on the matter before the fraud squad.

“We don’t comment on matters of immunity,” a spokesperson said. “That is all done by the Office of Public Prosecution”

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