An extract from the Hansard:
Turning to credit cards and escorts, I have consistently from day one denied any wrongdoing in relation to these issues. I make it clear—and I hope I have already by painting a picture—that I had many enemies in the HSU, many enemies who did not like increased transparency, many enemies who preferred that there be no national office. I was the subject on numerous occasions of threats and intimidation. I had my door of my office graffitied. The national office shared an office with other Victorian branches of the Health Services Union.
There was, though, a particular threat that was made that I thought was just part of the routine threats that were constantly made in working in this environment. That was a threat by Marco Bolano in words to the effect that he would seek to ruin any political career that I sought and would set me up with a bunch of hookers. This was a threat that started in Kathy Jackson’s office. The rant went right down the corridor and was witnessed by many people. It was then also the subject of a report. A letter was written to the Jacksons and to Michael Williamson complaining about this incident and putting, very importantly, this instance on record—on record when it occurred that there was this threat.
Later on, some years later, Michael Williamson said in front of a few witnesses, ‘This is the way we deal with people in the Health Services Union when we have problems.’ So we have the threat and, post facto, we have an admission. But Williamson went further. In the Daily Telegraph, a week ago on Saturday, he actually said he knew about this and it was commonplace in Victoria in relation to this union. So he made that absolutely clear. Of the seven occasions that are set out, three of them could not be me. There are alibis: on two occasions my being with other people, and on one occasion being in Perth and not being in Sydney for the month around the alleged incident.
I know that sitting up there we have a whole range of CSI journalists who think that they are the Inspector Clouseaus of the world—or perhaps that is how they really are—and they make these assumptions rather than report issues that are there. I want to try to help you with a couple of key areas that you have had difficulties with. The account details of my credit cards were known. They were reported. Everyone knew what my credit card account numbers were.
What we now read in The Australian:
Mr [Greg James QC] argued that the rules of the HSU did not define the boundaries of work-related expenditure, and because the expenses had been approved and paid, no party had been actually defrauded.
The AFR reports further:
Denials by former federal MP Craig Thomson in media interviews that he had used his union credit cards for brothels and escorts were his response to a “public attack” with the intention of trying to save his “failing marriage, public image, parliamentary seat, political candidature”, a court has heard.