Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says the government will investigate claims former prime minister Scott Morrison swore himself in as joint health, finance and resources minister during the height of the pandemic.
Scott Morrison reportedly made himself joint minister of several portfolios during COVID-19
Members of Mr Morrison’s cabinet were kept in the dark about the power grab
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has referred the issue to the solicitor-general
Mr Albanese says the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet is seeking legal advice from the solicitor-general.
The ABC understands then-health minister Greg Hunt agreed to Mr Morrison’s joint position as a safeguard to incapacitation from COVID-19, but that Matthias Cormann was not told that Mr Morrison had appointed himself as joint finance minister.
Former resources minister Keith Pitt has told the ABC Mr Morrison also used his self appointment to Mr Pitt’s portfolio to block a controversial petroleum exploration licence.
Prime Minister Albanese said the revelations were “extraordinary”.
“The people of Australia were kept in the dark as to what the ministerial arrangements were, it’s completely unacceptable,” Mr Albanese said.
This is very contrary to our Westminster system. It was cynical and it was just weird that this has occurred.”
Mr Albanese said it was a serious allegation, but also “just weird”.
“Perhaps this explains why we didn’t order enough vaccines. I mean, the Minister for Health might have thought the Prime Minister was ordering them because he was also the Minister for Health, and he thought the Minister for Health was ordering them,” Mr Albanese joked.
Former Morrison minister slams secret appointments
Nationals leader David Littleproud, who served as agriculture minister under Mr Morrison, told ABC Radio this morning he did not know the former prime minister had sworn himself into several roles.
“That’s pretty ordinary, as far as I’m concerned,” Mr Littleproud said.
“If you have a government cabinet, you trust your cabinet.”
Mr Littleproud said to his knowledge, the then-Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce was also not made aware of Mr Morrison’s self-appointments.
“These are decisions of Scott Morrison. I don’t agree with them, and I’m prepared to say that openly and honestly,” Mr Littleproud said.
Mr Morrison also used his self-appointment to the resources portfolio to overrule the then-minister to block a petroleum exploration license off the NSW Central Coast.
National MP Keith Pitt told the ABC he “certainly made inquiries” when Mr Morrison told him about the joint-appointment, but ultimately accepted the move.
“I certainly found it unusual, but as I said I worked very closely with Scott through a very difficult period through COVID,” Mr Pitt said.
“I’m just not going to throw him under a bus, I just won’t.
“It was clearly something I was concerned about, as you would expect.”
Former Labor leader Bill Shorten, who lost the 2019 election to Mr Morrison, said it was a bizarre decision by the former prime minister.
“To find out he was ghosting his own cabinet ministers, goodness me, he was off on a trip,” Mr Shorten said.
“Honestly I’ve never heard of this, in World War II I’m not aware John Curtin swore himself in as Defense Minister … I don’t know what was going through [Mr Morrison’s] head.
“If he felt the need to do it, why not tell people? Why be secretive?”
Mr Albanese said he would not pre-empt the findings of the solicitor-general as to whether the former prime minister broke the law.
But he noted it was possible there were other secret appointments made by Mr Morrison.
Constitutional expert says self-appointments were inexplicable
Professor Anne Twomey, an expert in constitutional law, said it was “confusing” how Mr Morrison may have taken joint control of several portfolios.
Professor Twomey said only the Governor-General can swear in a minister, but noted reports that Mr Morrison may have found an administrative workaround.
She said there were already provisions for other ministers to take over portfolios if a minister is incapacitated, and it seemed unnecessary.
“What on Earth was going on, I don’t know, but the secrecy involved in this is just bizarre,” Professor Twomey said.
“You just wonder what’s wrong with these people that they have to do everything in secret.”
By Shiloh Payne
That’s all for the press conference
To recap, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he will be seeking legal advice from his department after revelations Scott Morrison appointed himself to multiple portfolios.
Here’s what we know:
Mr Morrison granted himself powers of Health, Finance and Resources Minister at various points when he was Prime Minister.
Some Ministers knew at the time, but others didn’t.
Mr Albanese has described the former prime minister’s actions as contemplated for the democratic process.
Mr Albanese will be briefed on the claims later this afternoon.
The solicitor-general will also be providing advice.
By Shiloh Payne
PM describes Morrison’s actions as ‘contempt for democratic process’
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says Scott Morrison’s appointments as different ministers could have caused confusion in the government.
“Perhaps this explains why we didn’t order enough vaccines,” he says.
“The Minister for Health might have thought the Prime Minister was ordering them because he was also the Minister for Health and he thought the Minister for Health was ordering them.”
“What we know is that this is a shambles and it needs clearing up and the Australian people deserve better than this contempt for democratic processes and for our Westminster system of government, which is what we have seen trashed by the Morrison Government.”
By Shiloh Payne
Will the solicitor-general look into this?
The Prime Minister is taking questions.
He was asked if the solicitor-general will look into these claims regarding Scott Morrison, here’s what he says:
“I have asked the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet,” he says.
“We will be seeking advice from appropriate people including the Solicitor-General about all of these issues.
I’ll be getting a full briefing this afternoon. This is dripping out like a tap that needs a washer fixed and what we need is actually to get the full flow of all the information out there and then we’ll make a decision about a way forward here.
“But these circumstances should never have arisen.”
By Shiloh Payne
‘Nothing about the last government was real, PM says
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says there is an ‘absolute need’ for clear transparency.
“This isn’t some local footy club,” Mr Albanese says.
“This is a government of Australia where the people of Australia were kept in the dark as to what the ministerial arrangements were.”
“It’s completely unacceptable.”
By Shiloh Payne
PM: ‘Whole lot of questions arise’ from Morrison portfolio claims
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says claims that Scott Morrison took on additional portfolios as “extraordinary and unprecedented”.
He says he will have briefings on the situation when he returns to Canberra this afternoon.
“A whole lot of questions arise from this,” he says.
“What did Peter Dutton and other continuing members of the now shadow ministry know about these circumstances?
“How is it that the Australian people can be misled whereby we know now that Scott Morrison was not only being Prime Minister, but was Minister for Health, was Minister for Industry and Science at the same time as resources, was the Minister for Finance, and we had the extraordinary revelation that Mathias Cormann, apparently, wasn’t aware that Scott Morrison was the Minister for Finance as well as himself.”
By Shiloh Payne
You can watch the press conference here
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is speaking in Melbourne.
You can watch it here:
By Shiloh Payne
Anthony Albanese is speaking in Melbourne
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is speaking to the media in Melbourne.
He is expected to discuss the government’s plans to investigate claims that former prime minister Scott Morrison had secretly sworn himself into three ministerial positions at the height of the pandemic.
There are claims Mr Morrison swore himself in as joint health, finance and resources minister.
Good morning, I’m Shiloh Payne and I’ll be taking you through the latest updates.
Mark McGowan and more than half of his ministers have been caught speeding, incurring thousands of dollars in fines and hefty demerit points.
Some of the high-profile MPs who fell foul of the law are the Premier’s closest allies, including Attorney-General John Quigley, Police and Road Safety Minister Paul Papalia, and Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson.
Mr McGowan admitted to speeding twice in four months in 2021 — including during a double demerit period for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend last September.
Despite strong government public messaging about the dangers of speeding — especially during double demerit crackdowns — Mr McGowan exceeded the speed limit by between 10 and 19km/h, copping four demerit points and a $400 fine.
In April last year, Mr McGowan’s lead foot saw him handed another $100 fine for exceeding the speed limit by not more than 9kmh.
Mr McGowan’s speeding ends came as WA recorded its highest road toll in five years in 2021 — 166 people losing their lives. So far this year there have been 87 fatalities, including a horror period when young drivers and passengers died or were seriously injured.
In June this year, 17-year-old Dale Martin and his passenger Ryleigh Land, 17, were killed after the car rolled in wet and windy conditions near Wagerup.
In July, a horror crash in Wye, just south of Mt Gambier, killed a 38-year-old WA woman and injured a five-year-old girl, eight and six-year-old boys and a 36-year-old man .
The Premier yesterday unreservedly apologized for speeding.
“There’s no excuses,” Mr McGowan said. “It was clearly a lapse in concentration and I should have done better. I was on a family camping trip at the time.”
And it would appear that the threat of double demerit points did not deter other ministers from speeding.
Finance Minister Tony Buti was the worst lead foot of the group, burning a $400 hole in his pocket after being caught speeding by no more than 9kmh over the speed limit four times in two years.
But Environment Minister Reece Whitby put the most money back into public coffers after he was fined three times from June to November last year, costing him $600. Like Mr McGowan he ignored double demerit-point warnings, exceeding the speed limit by between 10 and 19kmh during the June Labor Day long weekend, which set him back $400.
He then copped another $100 fine for speeding four months later, and another $100 fine for speeding a month after that.
Mr McGowan and his ministers all get a taxpayer-funded car — and a driver, if they want one — meaning there is little reason to drive.
On the occasions Mr McGowan and his ministers were nabbed by the law, they were behind the wheel of their own cars.
The revelations come after The Sunday Times Mr McGowan and his ministers whether they had incurred any traffic infringements asked since January 1, 2020.
More than two-thirds of Cabinet — 10 out of 16 Labor Ministers — were caught speeding, some multiple times and during double demerit long weekends.
Lead-foot Labor ministers forked out $3,600 in speeding ends since the start of 2020.
Read more of what MPs had to say about their speeding ends in the full exclusive story at The West Australian
State, territory and federal energy ministers have started the process for significant reforms to Australia’s energy future.
The ministers met on Friday in Canberra where they received a briefing from energy market operators and the consumer watchdog on expected gas and electricity shortfalls in 2023 and 2024.
On top of the agenda was the establishment of a new National Energy Transformation Partnership (NETP) to better collaborate on Australia’s transition to greater reliance on renewables in the electricity grid.
Federal Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen announced that as part of the new NETP, emissions reduction would be included in the national energy objectives for market operators.
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Mr Bowen said the decision would send a “very clear” message of certainty to investors and would ensure emissions reduction is at the forefront of every aspect of energy market operators’ functions.
“This might not sound much, this is the first change to the national energy objectives in 15 years this is important,” he said in Canberra on Friday.
“It sends a very clear direction to our energy market operators that they must include emissions reduction in the work that they do.
“And the message of certainty to investors in renewable energy and transition and storage around the world that Australia is open for business, Australia is determined to reduce emissions.
“And we welcome investment to achieve it and we will provide a stable and certain policy framework.”
The ministers also agreed to extend the powers of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to better manage east coast supply shortfall risks.
It will also provide AEMO with the option of direct market participation ahead of winter 2023.
In its interim gas report, the Australian consumer watchdog warned of a serious shortfall in natural gas in 2023.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commissions (ACCC) said LNG exporters needed to redirect excess supplies to the domestic market or Australia would risk its energy security heading into next year.
It comes after AEMO intervened in the Victorian gas market to redirect excess supply from Queensland producers to avoid mass shortages in the southern state – using its emergency mechanism for the second time in history.
The ministers joined the ACCC in calling for producers to redirect excess gas to the domestic consumers rather than the lucrative export market.
NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean said it was a “non-negotiable” for his state when it came to protecting households and businesses.
“What we don’t want to see is domestic gas producers prioritizing profits and exports ahead of local users, that is a non-negotiable for us in New South Wales,” he said.
“There is going to be a shortfall in gas in 2023 and 2024. That shortfall needs to be met.
“And what we need to do is prioritize Australian gas for Australian gas users ahead of companies making super profits and exporting that gas offshore.”
His Victorian counterpart Lily D’Ambrosio shared the concerns and said the country produced “more than sufficient gas” to meet domestic needs but “too much of it was sent overseas”.
“And that’s got to change and that’s really the task of all of us and we’re all up for it. And we’ve all agreed about how we can go about doing that,” she said.
On top of the gas market reforms, the ministers also discussed a future capacity mechanism to ensure firming power in the grid during the transition away from coal.
Senior federal and jurisdictional officials have now been charged to provide options for a framework which delivers “adequate capacity, ensures orderly transition, and incentivises new investment in firm renewable energy.”
“Ministers intend to take a more active role in delivering the firming capacity needed as the system transforms and consider the best means to manage the risks of a disorderly exit of coal generation,” the joint communique said.
Just months out of a state election, Victoria’s alternative government has been thrown into disarray by a leaked email, a “disastrous” interview and a slow-moving fallout.
Details of a proposed arrangement between a wealthy Liberal Party donor and the Opposition Leader’s chief of staff came to light at the beginning of last week.
Matthew Guy fronted the media within hours and announced his chief of staff had resigned, and seemed determined to put the issue to bed.
However, in the days since, the series of events stemming from that initial revelation have only gathered momentum.
A Liberal MP, who did not want to be named, recently told the ABC that Mr Guy’s position as leader was precarious and another scandal would be fatal, but said that, in the absence of an alternative, he may hang on until the election.
At the start of May, when Mr Guy pledged extra funding for Victoria’s watchdogs, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) and the Victorian Ombudsman, he said his party was “focused on rebuilding our system of integrity and honesty in government “.
The government’s integrity came under fire last month, with the release of the results of an IBAC investigation detailing “extensive misconduct” by Labor MPs, as well as an ombudsman’s report rehashing the “red shirts” scandal.
The Opposition Leader has been eager to turn voters’ minds to integrity and trust in government, but struggled to formulate a response as his own office was subject to scrutiny.
So, how did the opposition get to this point just over three months out from a state election?
The proposed arrangement
On August 2The Age published revelations about Mr Guy’s chief of staff, Mitch Catlin, approaching billionaire party donor Jonathan Munz for payments totaling more than $100,000 to his private marketing business, Catchy Media.
Mr Catlin said no contract was signed, and Mr Guy fronted the media and asserted more than once that the arrangement, brought to light by a leaked email, had only ever been a proposal.
“We’re acting on a perception — this wasn’t even put in place,” he said.
That day, the Andrews government announced it would refer the matter to the state’s integrity agencies, IBAC and the ombudsman, Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police and the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC).
It also published a list of 14 questions directed at Mr Guy about Mr Catlin’s proposed arrangement.
Almost a week after the initial reports, Mr Guy appointed his childhood friend, Nick McGowan, as his new chief of staff on August 8.
Mr McGowan has also been preselected as a Liberal candidate for an upper house seat in the Eastern Metropolitan Region, but Mr Guy stated his new chief of staff wouldn’t be campaigning for the seat during working hours.
The Opposition Leader and Mr McGowan have a close personal and professional relationship, with Mr McGowan best man at Mr Guy’s wedding, and his chief of staff while he was planning minister in the Baillieu-Napthine government.
Mr McGowan will also be forced to take leave by November 10 when the VEC deadline for candidate nominations closes, meaning Mr Guy will also need to find a replacement for his top aid for the final two weeks before the election.
The appointment caused some frustration inside the party, with one Liberal MP, who did not want to be named, labeling the move a “shocker” and “a job for a mate”.
They said it sent a “poor message” to the party’s other candidates that they did not need to bother campaigning until they lodged their nomination.
On that same day, Mr Guy was criticized for his performance during a 12-minute radio interview on 3AW where he repeatedly refused to answer questions about when he first found out that Mr Catlin had approached Mr Munz about the proposed arrangement.
Rather than starting a fresh week on the front foot, Monday’s events put Mr Guy right back to square one, and the interview drew harsh responses from listeners.
One man who identified himself as a “rusted-on Liberal voter” said Mr Guy had “lost the election” by being evasive.
Another caller described the interview as “disastrous.”
Over the next few days, multiple departures from Mr Guy’s office kept the issue in the spotlight.
On August 10Mr Guy’s director of communications, Lee Anderson, resigned after reportedly clashing with Mr McGowan.
Mr Anderson — who had decades of media experience — has since been replaced by an existing Liberal Party media team member, Alex Woff.
On August 11the departure of a third staff member emerged.
There were conflicting reports about whether Mr Guy’s diary manager quit or was fired, but the staff member left and has since been replaced.
On August 10, amid the staffing changes, the opposition published its own list of 48 questions on integrity addressed to Premier Daniel Andrews and Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan.
On Friday, August 12all eyes were on Mr Guy when he addressed reporters in Albury-Wodonga, his first media event since August 8, despite Shadow Health Minister Georgie Crozier saying days earlier that the Coalition was in “full campaign mode”.
Mr Guy revealed the VEC had requested he provide “any documentation”, including his emails, related to Mr Catlin’s proposed arrangement with a Liberal Party donor.
He said the body had “begun some preliminary work” and had asked for documents.
“I’ll comply and make sure that we work with them at every stage, and every step,” Mr Guy said.
He also expressed frustration that interest in the fallout from Mr Catlin’s proposed arrangement coming to light had lingered so long.
“I am sorry that this issue has come around, and that this issue has been a feature for a week and a half,” Mr Guy said.
It’s pretty hard to find anyone who seems to be loving their job at the moment.
A pandemic in its third year, a community desperate to move on and a virus that has no regard for the state of the world that existed before it started killing people.
Add to that the perilous state of the economy with prices up, interest rates up, workloads up, pretty much everything up — except for wages.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that the teaching workforce would be no different — tired, burnt out and feeling underpaid and undervalued.
It wasn’t all that long ago that parents across the country were getting firsthand experience of what it’s like to educate their children for seven hours a day.
Now everyone’s back in the classroom, teacher shortages are biting and something’s got to give.
Ministers in unison
The issues engulfing the sector aren’t new but have undoubtedly been exacerbated as the specter of coronavirus continues to loom.
An issues paper released ahead of yesterday’s meeting of education ministers pointed to perceptions of low pay, unfavorable working conditions and increasing workloads as responsible for an “unprecedented” staffing challenge that was the “single biggest issue” facing all school sectors.
On that, all state ministers were in unison on Friday.
“No matter which state minister would be speaking to you now, we’re all dealing with the same issues and challenges,” NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said after the meeting.
“We all know we’ve got fantastic teachers working in all of our schools day in, day out. We need to be working on ways to keep them there.”
But if the teachers at their wits’ end were looking to a meeting of the nation’s education ministers for a sign that all their issues would soon be resolved, they’d have been left wanting.
Their pain has been heard, smiling ministers reassured as they pledged to act. But what exactly they will do remains unclear.
Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek spent six years in opposition honoring her party’s education policies.
Now in government, the job has been handed to Jason Clare, who agreed yesterday’s meeting in Canberra.
He’s faced the unenviable task of taking on a portfolio in the middle of a storm having had little experience in the policy area.
That’s maybe why he’s often referred to his mother’s experiences working in schools and the power they have to transform lives.
But as for the policies that he’s keen to implement to make that happen — more time is needed.
Clare left yesterday’s meeting declaring three priorities: to encourage more people into teaching, to better prepare students for the workforce and to keep the teachers the sector already has.
Education department secretaries from across the country will now prepare a national action plan that will be presented to the ministers when they next meet in December.
Is it more than talk?
Clare was quick to dismiss any suggestion that the meeting had just been a talkfest.
“It’s not just talking,” he said.
“By listening to teachers, we got ideas we didn’t have before today.
“So today was about listening to teachers, harvesting those good ideas and now working on a plan that we can now implement to make a real difference.”
It would be baffling if yesterday was the first chance any of these ministers had to hear from teachers.
But after hearing from each of them, just having everyone at the table and working together sounded like progress.
“Today was a breath of fresh air,” WA’s Education Minister Sue Ellery said.
“These meetings have been really difficult over the last few years and I’ve been coming to them for the last five years.”
There’s little love lost in the Labor states over the removal of a federal Coalition education minister.
The NSW minister, herself a Coalition minister, didn’t seem particularly saddened either.
So, if they’re all now at the table and working together, it might well mean there’s a chance to save an education sector on the brink.
Frankly, they have no other option.
That’s the biggest bargaining chip teachers have — we need schools and they need to be staffed, preferably by teachers who want to be there and feel appreciated.
If COVID taught us anything, it’s that we can’t take that for granted.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has stressed the importance of acquiring nuclear-powered submarines as soon as possible after the Chinese Ambassador to Australia delivered his first National Press Club speech this week.
Xiao Qian – who became Beijing’s top diplomat in Canberra this year – had defended China’s actions when it responded with live military drills in Taiwan following the historic visit from United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week.
He warned Australia to handle the messaging around Taiwan “with caution” and added there was “no room for compromise” as China sees the island as its own territory.
Mr Xiao also threatened Beijing would take Taipei with force and would be “ready to use all necessary measures” to restore the liberal democracy “to the motherland”.
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Mr Dutton said he was not “shocked” by the remarks from the ambassador as the messaging was similar to what was delivered by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
But he agreed it was alarming to hear the comments being made on Australian shores before he flagged it would be no “surprise” if China invaded the island.
“I don’t think anyone would be surprised if there was an incursion into Taiwan,” he told ABC’s 7:30 on Thursday.
The Opposition Leader then stressed the importance of having a “deterrence in place”, in the form of nuclear submarines, to ward off a potential future attack.
“China is clear that their center of humiliation doesn’t come to an end until there is a re-unification, in their words, so it is important for us to have deterrence in place because any adversary should know that a strike on Australia would ‘t be accepted,” he said.
“And there would be retaliation and also weed need to be close and fight with our allies, not just America, but India and Japan.”
While Australia’s national security would be secure under the AUKUS alliance with the US and United Kingdom for the next five to six decades, he warned the nation needed nuclear-powered submarines to plug the capability gap.
He also came to the support of Defense Minister Richard Marles who insisted this week it is the government’s “top priority” to fill the gap left by the Collins fleet of boats.
“Yes, I very strongly support Richard Marles,” he said.
“He is adopting similar language that I used not too long ago to say if we can get those submarines off the production line, then we should certainly strongly believe that that is possible and that’s the course of action that the government should be pursuing. “
Mr Dutton also welcomed the response from Mr Marles, Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese who have all called for a de-escalation of tensions in the Taiwan region but believes the messaging can be stronger.
“I believe very strongly that we are better to speak frankly about China’s intent – they’re clear about it themselves, as we have discussed, and it is important for Australians to hear that message,” he said.
Mr Marles is set to make a decision by March 2023 on whether Australia will go with acquiring eight US Virginia-class or British Astute-class built submarines.
The government is expected to decide then whether Australia will need interim, conventionally powered submarines before the AUKUS vessels are ready to hit the water, which may not be for another 20 years around the 2040s.
Mr Marles said this week he would like to see the new boats constructed in Australia as part of a beefing up of its domestic defense manufacturing ability.
The heir and de facto leader of the Samsung group received a presidential pardon Friday, continuing South Korea’s long tradition of freeing business leaders convicted of corruption on economic grounds.
Billionaire Lee Jae-yong, convicted of bribery and embezzlement in January last year, will be “reinstated” to give him a chance to “contribute to overcoming the economic crisis” of the country, justice minister Han Dong-hoon said.
Friday’s pardon will allow him to fully return to work by lifting a post-prison employment restriction that had been set for five years.
The pardon was given so that Lee — as well as other high-level executives receiving pardons Friday — could “lead the country’s continuous growth engine through active investment in technology and job creation,” it added.
A total of 1,693 people — including prisoners with terminal illnesses and those near the end of their terms — were on the pardon list, the ministry said, ahead of the annual Liberation Day anniversary Monday.
Lee, 54, issued a statement after the pardon was announced saying he aimed to “contribute to the economy through continuous investment and job creation for young people.”
Lee is the vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest smartphone maker. The conglomerate’s overall turnover is equivalent to about one-fifth of South Korea’s gross domestic product.
There is a long history of South Korean tycoons being charged with bribery, embezzlement, tax evasion or other offenses.
The giant Samsung group is by far the largest of the family-controlled empires known as chaebol that dominate business in South Korea.
But analysts said they simply allowed major businessmen to feel they were not “constrained by any legal norms”, Vladimir Tikhonov, professor of Korean studies at the University of Oslo, told AFP.
Justice minister Han said all politicians were excluded this time as the economy is the most “urgent and important” issue.
– More legal woes –
In May, he was excused from a hearing in that trial to host US President Joe Biden when he kicked off a tour of South Korea by visiting Samsung’s chip plant, alongside President Yoon.
But Lee’s imprisonment has been no barrier to the firm’s performance — it announced a surge of more than 70 percent in second-quarter profits in July last year, with a coronavirus-driven shift to remote work boosting demand for devices using its memory chips.
“The pardon weakens the rule of law, which potentially is, in fact, more detrimental than advantageous.”
The grieving daughter of a man who died in a horrific crash in South Australia last year has launched a blistering attack on the drunk and speeding driver responsible for his death.
Campbell Henderson, 29, appeared in court on Thursday after pleading guilty to causing the crash on Easter Monday 2021 that killed his friend and 39-year-old passenger Nick Peart.
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The crash occurred just meters from the houses of both men, who were neighbors as well as friends.
Peart’s high school sweetheart and wife Elaine Revi-Peart told the court in a victim impact statement that more than a year after losing her partner: “I get chest pains which I can only describe as heartache.”
Henderson was driving almost 40km over the speed limit when he lost control around a bend in Brukunga and crashed into a large tree.
Witnesses reported seeing his distinctive yellow ute doing burnouts earlier that night.
His eldest daughter, 14, also made a scathing statement to the man who was once like an uncle to her: “I hate you, I want to see you leave in cuffs and prison clothes, you have ruined my life.”
“Without my dad, it is hell.”
Henderson was teary-eyed in court and remorseful as he admitted in court that his driving was “dangerous and irresponsible.”
“If there was any way I could trade places with Nick I would, I’ll never forgive myself.”
He pleaded guilty to causing the fatal crash.
The court heard Henderson had no criminal history and has suffered ongoing mental and physical health problems as a result of the accident he has little memory of.
It heard that the last thing Henderson remembers is being in the car, before waking up in hospital, after which he has experienced PTSD and suicidal tendencies.
His lawyer asked for a home detention report to be ordered, which Judge Joana Fuller said she would consider but did not order on Thursday.
Henderson was granted bail last year and has spent just hours in police custody.
He is South African-born but has been living in Australia since he was 10 years old, and is currently in the country on his mother’s UK passport.
He is set to be sentenced next month.
Revi-Peart said her neighbor “chose to drive that day”, and that her husband “paid the ultimate price for trusting a friend”.
Peart’s mother said her son’s death was a shocking and senseless tragedy.
The last year has been tough for the family, who aside from losing Peart, have had to find a new house following extensive water damage to their home, while also caring for their daughter Kayley who lives with the health condition Neurofibromatosis type 1.
The family fundraised over $30,000 after the accident to go towards legal costs, and to support the family grieving the loss of their sole wage earner.
ATLANTA (AP) — Donald Trump has hired a prominent Atlanta criminal defense attorney known for defending famous rappers to represent him in matters related to the special grand jury that’s investigating whether the former president illegally tried to interfere with the 2020 election in Georgia.
Drew Findling’s clients have included Cardi B, Migos and Gucci Mane, as well as comedian Katt Williams. His Twitter bio of him includes the hashtag #BillionDollarLawyer and his Instagram feed of him is filled with photos of him posing with his well-known clients.
His most recent Instagram post, dated two days after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June, says his signature of him is committed to “fighting to restore a woman’s right to choose, which has been destroyed by the Supreme Court,” suggesting his personal views of him do n’t align with those of Trump’s Republican Party . I have offered to defend anyone charged under Georgia’s restrictive abortion law free of charge.
After Trump insulted basketball star LeBron James’s intelligence in an August 2018 tweet, Findling called Trump the “racist architect of fraudulent Trump University” in a tweet and ended the post with “POTUS pathetic once again!”
The Findling Law Firm said in a statement released Thursday that it has been hired, along with attorneys Jennifer Little and Dwight Thomas, to represent Trump.
Findling said in an emailed statement that he is a “passionate advocate against injustice” and will “strongly defend” Trump.
“I may differ politically from many of my clients, but that doesn’t change my commitment to defend against wrongful investigations,” Findling said. “In this case, the focus on President Trump in Fulton County, Georgia is clearly an erroneous and politically driven persecution and along with my office and co-counsel, I am fully committed to defend against this injustice.”
Little, a former prosecutor, said in an emailed statement that the attorneys were “handpicked” on Trump’s behalf and that “the composition of our team only adds to the integrity of his defense.”
“A politically diverse group of attorneys with differing perspectives have all come to the same conclusion — there have been no violations of Georgia law,” she said. “We as a team look forward to vigorously defending our client and the Constitution.”
Thomas said he has extensive past experience in special grand jury investigations and is serving as a consultant. Other lawyers who have clients who are connected to the investigation have also reached out to him, he said, but he declined to name them.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened the investigation early last year, and the special grand jury was seated in May at her request.
Willis has confirmed since the early days of the investigation that she’s interested in a January 2021 phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. During that conversation, Trump suggested Raffensperger could “find” the votes needed to overturn his narrow loss in the state.
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said during that call. “Because we won the state.”
Willis last month filed petitions seeking to compel testimony before the special grand jury from seven Trump associates and advisers, including former New York mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and US Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. And she has said that she is considering subpoenaing the former president himself.
In addition to representing high-profile musical artists and other entertainers, Findling successfully defended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill in a racketeering trial that threatened to end his law enforcement career. Hill was acquired in 2013 on 27 felony charges in an indictment that accused him of using his office for personal gain.
Findling is currently defending Hill against charges in a federal indictment accusing him of violating the civil rights of several people in his agency’s custody by ordering that they be unnecessarily strapped into a restraint chair and left there for hours.
He also defended Mitzi Bickers, a former Atlanta city official was the first person to go to trial in a long-running federal investigation into corruption at City Hall under former Mayor Kasim Reed. A jury earlier this year found Bickers guilty on charges including money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bribery. Findling said they plan to appeal.