Nationals MP George Christensen claims a letter from the federal police to Minister Peter Dutton about a probe into the MP’s frequent travel to the Philippines contains information that “falsely accuse me of a serious crime”.
For almost two years, Nine News, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have been trying, under Freedom of Information laws, to access the document sent on June 25, 2018.
In the letter, the Australian Federal Police advised it was closing the case into Mr Christensen, but warned the Queensland MP remained an ongoing risk of being compromised, according to sources who have seen the letter.
The Queensland politician, who is retiring at the upcoming election, has made two secret submissions to the information watchdog in a bid to prevent the AFP’s letter from being made public.
Asked if he was happy for documents related to the AFP probe to be released under Freedom of Information, Mr Christensen said: “I am not happy with documents that basically falsely accuse me of a serious crime being made public because therefore people will get to then report what you are falsely accused of and that’s just wrong for anyone.”
Mr Christensen has claimed his lawyers received a letter from police stating “information was provided to the AFP by a third party with no direct knowledge of the alleged conduct”.
The MP was dubbed “The Member for Manila” by colleagues after it was revealed he spent 294 days in the Philippines between April 2014 and his last visit in June 2018.
Mr Christensen, who has a Filipina wife, has always claimed to be the victim of a “vile” smear campaign over the scrutiny of his travel.