Chau Chak Wing Confident Of Vindication Of Bribery Allegations
Wing's lawyer said he is disappointed by the allegations.
What you need to know
- Andrew Hastie accused the Chinese-Australian donor of bribing a UN official
- Chau Chak Wing says he is confident of vindication of the allegations
- Hastie used parliamentary privilege to make the claims
The Chinese-Australian billionaire named in federal parliament for his alleged involvement in the bribery of a former UN General Assembly president insists he has the right to a presumption of innocence.
Liberal MP Andrew Hastie used parliamentary privilege on Tuesday night to announce that a man known as "CC-3" in FBI documents about the bribery case, was political donor Dr Chau Chak Wing.
"The same man who co-conspired to bribe the United Nations General Assembly president John Ashe, the same man with extensive contacts in the Chinese Communist Party," Mr Hastie said on Tuesday night.
Dr Chau has donated more than $4 million to both major political parties as well as $45 million to Australian universities.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has sought security agency advice about Mr Hastie's decision to name Dr Chau.
Mr Turnbull said Mr Hastie received the information from a non-classified US briefing, also attended by at least one Labor MP.
"The allegations are not new, they have been made before, they are subject to legal proceedings and I do not propose to say anything more about them," Mr Turnbull told parliament on Wednesday.
Dr Chau's lawyer Mark O'Brien said in a statement his client was disappointed parliamentary privilege was used to "repeat old claims" just weeks before a defamation hearing.
"Our client has not been charged with any offence, which makes Mr Hastie's attack all the more extraordinary," the statement said.
The lawyer said Mr Hastie purports to be acting in the interest of Australians.
"It seems he has forgotten or disregarded the right all Australian citizens have to a presumption of innocence unless proven otherwise," he said.
He said his client was confident of being vindicated at a court hearing against the Sydney Morning Herald slated for June 12.
Labor defence spokesman Richard Marles said the saga highlights the importance of a crackdown on foreign donations.
"I doubt that Andrew Hastie has broken the law (by naming Dr Chau)," Mr Marles told ABC Radio, however, he said there could be implications for what information foreign agencies share with Australia in the future.