Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Belinda Neal, John Della Bosca avoid Iguanagate charges

POLITICAL power couple John Della Bosca and Belinda Neal will both escape criminal charges over the Iguanagate scandal.

The NSW DPP has sent its advice to police this afternoon, saying there is no basis for a successful prosecution of either the NSW Labor powerbroker or his federal Labor MP wife.
And no other parties involved in the incident are to face charges either.
The NSW DPP has perused the police brief evidence and found there was no reasonable prospect of a successful prosecution against Ms Neal, the Federal Labor MP for Robertson, and her husband, John Della Bosca, the stood down State Education Minister.

The decision followed a lengthy police investigation into whether Neal or Della Bosca abused their positions to get witnesses to hold back or recant evidence in their statutory declarations about their behaviour at a Central Coast nightspot in June.

State DPP Nicholas Cowdrey said in his brief on the matter: "In relation to Ms Neal, MP, I advise that in my view there is insufficient evidence to support any criminal charge against NSW law," Mr Cowdery writes.
"In relation to Mr Della Bosca, MLC, I also advise that in my view there is insufficient evidence to support any criminal charges against NSW law.''
Earlier today, the Commonwealth DPP advised police that no charges would be recommended under federal laws.

The development clears the way for Mr Della Bosca to return to State Cabinet and allows Ms Neal to continue as a federal Labor backbencher.

After the Commonwealth DPP decision, Ms Neal professed her innocence today.

Ms Neal said she had done nothing wrong and welcomed the decision by the Commonwealth DPP that no charges under federal law should be recommended.

A police spokesman said advice had been received from the Commonwealth DPP this morning indicating no reasonable prospect existed of a successful prosecution for a Commonwealth offence.

It is believed any Commonwealth offences in question would have largely related to Ms Neal as a federal MP.


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