Accusations have been levelled at Crocodile Dundee actor Paul Hogan for jeopardising the integrity of the Australian Crime Commission (ACC)’s $A300m Wickerby investigation into tax evasion by demanding to have the ACC team, including its leader Ian Andrew, investigating Hogan’s alleged involvement in a tax evasion scheme, taken off his case.
Lawyers acting for Hogan, who has denied any wrongdoing, have asked Australian Federal Court judge Arthur Emmett to have the team of three taken off his case because they had access to 35 seized documents – many of them from his accountants Ernst & Young – later said to be legally privileged and which the investigators were not entitled to see.
If Hogan is successful, it would be ‘impossible’ to transmit several years’ of knowledge to a new team of investigators, Andrew told the court yesterday, according to The Australian newspaper. It was argued the ‘integrity’ of the Wickenby investigation – which would be the basis for criminal charges – needed to be preserved, it was argued.
Crime commission barrister Tim Game SC told the court that ACC had not acted illegally, rather Hogan was trying to ‘derail’ the investigation. ‘It’s obvious the underlying purpose… is to get the three investigators off the case,’ he said.
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