Lawyers were forced to admit in Australian Federal Court yesterday a major bungle by the Australian Crime Commission which, because of a technical glitch, had mistakenly deleted from its top secret database many of Paul Hogan’s personal finance documents seized from his accountant.
In a humiliating backdown, the commission had to return tens of thousands of Hogan’ documents which were seized during its investigation into claims he hid millions of dollars in a complex web of overseas trusts, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reports.
Hogan’s lawyers have applied to exclude those who viewed the documents from the investigation. Tim Game SC, barrister for the commission, said this would cripple the authority’s efforts.
Hogan’s barrister, Francois Kunc SC, accused the ACC of spending ‘extraordinary’ amounts of money in a pointless fight. The ACC has agreed to pay some of Hogan’s legal costs from 2006 onwards, which are estimated at up to $A5m (?2m) of Australian taxpayers’ money in addition to at least another $A5m spent to investigate the Crocodile Dundee star’s tax affairs.
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