Corruption and Crime Commission finally get hold of disgraced former Liberal MP Phil Edman’s laptop

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Peter LawThe West Australian
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Former WA Liberal MP Phil Edman used his electoral allowance to visit strip clubs.
Camera IconFormer WA Liberal MP Phil Edman used his electoral allowance to visit strip clubs. Credit: AAP

Parliament’s Legislative Council has finally handed over the laptop and two hard drives of disgraced former MP Phil Edman to corruption investigators.

Corruption and Crime Commissioner Commissioner John McKechnie said the devices had been delivered to the CCC by Legislative Council clerk Nigel Pratt.

“In due course the commission will examine the contents to see whether they contain evidence of serious misconduct sufficient to trigger the commission’s jurisdiction,” Mr McKechnie said.

After Mr Edman’s laptops and hard drives were seized by the CCC in 2019, the ex-Liberal MP warned associates there was material that would “bury f....n a lot of people and ruin their political careers forever”.

Corruption investigators also intercepted Mr Edman saying in a telephone call that the laptop contained “a little s... file in case you need it on people that f...en piss you off”.

A CCC report found Mr Edman used his electoral allowance to pay for visits to strip clubs, interstate holidays to meet women for sex, as well as to be a “sugar daddy” to women he met online.

The investigation stalled amid a two-year turf war between the CCC and Legislative Council over whether contents of the devices were covered by parliamentary privilege.

The stoush went all the way to Supreme Court, which in July found the CCC had the right to ask for the material but the Legislative Council had the right to refuse to hand it over until parliamentary privilege was worked out.

A truce was reached last month in the form of a memorandum of understanding and on Tuesday, Legislative Council president Alanna Clohesy said notices to produce from the CCC had been complied with and she “believed this matter to be concluded”.

“The Procedure and Privileges Committee was able to facilitate, with the assistance of digital forensic staff of the commission, the production to the commission in an acceptable format electronic copies of in excess of 500,000 non-privileged items,” she said.

“I thank the members and staff of the Procedure and Privileges Committee, along with the legal advisory staff of the Legislative Council committee office and Parliament’s IT section for the enormous logistical effort in reviewing half a million files in order to identify and isolate from production over 10,000 items that were subject to parliamentary privilege.”

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