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High Court asked to dismiss dishonesty convictions

A FORMER ATSIC deputy director is asking Australia's highest court to quash dishonesty convictions against him and order a new trial.

Robert Raymond Lloyd Robinson has sought special leave in the High Court to appeal a judgment handed down in the Queensland Court of Appeal in November.

A document tendered to the court argues the appeal court erred when it failed to uphold Robinson's submission that the prosecution was an abuse of process.

It also listed grounds for appeal relating to constitutional powers, or otherwise, of ATSIC, the organisation which arose after ATSIC was abolished in 2005.

Robinson has always fought dishonesty offences arising from two letters he sent under the ATSIC banner in 2004 endorsing the $114,500 sale of 10 vehicles which then belonged to Charleville-based Aboriginal agencies Bidjara CDEP and Bidjara South West Queensland Legal Service.

The Commonwealth argued ATSIC did not approve the sale and Robinson derived $45,000 from the sale to fund a private legal matter.

Robinson was sentenced to 12 months jail, with immediate release on a three-year good behaviour bond, after a Toowoomba jury in 2011 found him guilty of dishonestly using his position.

He swore during his testimony that the legal service had leant him the money to pay lawyers in a personal matter.

The Queensland appeal court rejected Robinson's arguments, finding the jury was "entitled to disbelieve" Robinson's arguments that the vehicle purchases satisfied all terms of a funds grant or his alleged belief ATSIC approval was not required for the vehicles' sale.

Topics:  atsic, dishonesty, high court


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