Corruption watchdog to return embarrassed MP’s laptop

Former Liberal MLC Phil Edman.
Former Liberal MLC Phil Edman.

WESTERN Australia’s corruption watchdog has waved a white flag in its battle with a powerful parliamentary committee over an investigation into potential travel allowance rorts by MPs.

The ongoing tussle between the Corruption and Crime Commission and the Procedure and Privileges Committee centres on documents obtained by the CCC as part of its probe, which the committee fears may be subject to parliamentary privilege.

On Wednesday, the committee demanded the CCC hand back a laptop issued to former Liberal MP Phil Edman that was seized during a raid, and gave a September 11 deadline.

Mr Edman was left embarrassed by an earlier CCC investigation that revealed he had visited a Japanese bathhouse during a government-paid trip, and recently said the ongoing scrutiny had him “at breaking point”.

The CCC said in a statement on Thursday it “will, of course, comply” with the demand to surrender the laptop.

“This will delay the commission’s investigation,” the CCC said.

“Preliminary examination of this laptop computer indicates it contains information material to the commission’s investigation.”

The CCC added Mr Edman had not returned the laptop at the end of his term of office.

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