Today's Sydney Morning Herald reports:
Speed fine MP could be charged for lying on oath - barristerA leading Sydney barrister has raised doubts about whether authorities properly investigated what criminal charges could be laid against the former state MP Steve Cansdell.
Greg James, QC, who is a retired Supreme Court judge, believes Mr Cansdell could be charged for making a false statement on oath under the provisions of the Crimes Act for his admission he lied on a statutory declaration to avoid losing his driver's licence.
Mr Cansdell, who was the member for Clarence and parliamentary secretary for police, quit the NSW Parliament shortly after the 2011 election after the admission. He said one of his then staff members, Kath Palmer, was driving when his car was caught by a speed camera in 2005.
NSW Police announced last October it would not lay charges against Mr Cansdell, stating Ms Palmer had ''declined to be interviewed''.
Ms Palmer's solicitor denied this, claiming that while Ms Palmer declined to be formally interviewed, she offered to make an ''induced statement'', which would protect her from prosecution.
In his opinion, requested by the NSW opposition, Mr James said that, subject to proof the statutory declaration was falsely sworn, there is ''a sufficient basis to investigate whether the staff member as a principal and Mr Cansdell as an accessory had committed offences …''
Mr James notes the police and DPP have the discretion not to proceed, but says: ''It is hard to see that those discretions have been properly applied … without a detailed consideration of what evidence might be available having been conducted.''
The shadow attorney-general, Paul Lynch, said the government had ''questions to answer about the lack of investigation''.