Thomson innocent, says lawyer

Date

The lawyer for independent MP Craig Thomson says his client did not misspent one cent of union funds when he ran the Health Services Union (HSU).

Mr Thomson lodged his defence papers in the Federal Court on Tuesday in response to the Fair Work Australia (FWA) claims he misused union funds while he was HSU national secretary between 2002 and 2007.

In his 28-page submission, he denies using union-issued credit cards to spend thousands of dollars on prostitutes while travelling on union business in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

He also denies using the cards to pay for flights and accommodation for his wife and family and for cash withdrawals and other personal expenses.

Mr Thomson's lawyer, Chris McArdle, says his client spent the money in accordance with the organisation's rules.

"He hasn't improperly spent one cent," Mr McArdle told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

"Anything he did do, he did with the express and clear permission of the association he was administering, he acted in the interests of the association at all times."

Mr McArdle said Mr Thomson was secretary of a multi-million dollar budget organisation but all funds were accounted for.

"He got a receipt for every cent he spent, and he stapled all those receipts to the ATM receipt dockets," he said.

Mr Thomson was elected in 2007 as the Labor MP for the NSW seat of Dobell, but was suspended from the party in April and moved to the cross benches following the release of the FWA report in April this year.

FWA has until December 20 to reply to Mr Thomson's defence.

The matter is listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Court on February 1, 2013.

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