Magistrate dismisses Slipper call for delay in ‘taxigate’

FORMER parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper has lost a bid to delay his hearing over an alleged taxpayer-funded taxi tour of Canberra region wineries.

Mr Slipper has been accused of three counts of dishonestly using Cabcharge cards in 2010, but is fighting the charges in the ACT Magistrates Court.

Commonwealth prosecutors allege the former member for Fisher, who was not re-elected at the last election, improperly used $1000 of the taxi vouchers to visit regional restaurants and wineries.

The high-profile case against Mr Slipper was due to be heard in the first week of December.

The legal firm of Mr Slipper's lawyer Peter Russo yesterday said it had only just arranged new counsel - Kylie Weston-Scheuber - to act for Mr Slipper.

Mr Russo's firm said it would have difficulty briefing the new counsel before December 2, and asked that the date be vacated.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker rebuffed Mr Slipper's bid for more time, saying nothing had been put forward to convince her it was necessary.


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