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Australia Magistrate Bob Harrap fronts court charged with corruption amid ICAC investigation

06:41  06 july  2020
06:41  06 july  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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a couple of people that are talking to each other: Magistrate Bob Harrap (centre) arriving at court this morning. (ABC News: Meagan Dillon) © Provided by ABC NEWS Magistrate Bob Harrap (centre) arriving at court this morning. (ABC News: Meagan Dillon)

A South Australian police prosecutor and criminal lawyer have been charged with corruption offences alongside Adelaide magistrate Bob Harrap, it can be revealed.

Magistrate Harrap and lawyer Catherine Moyse — principal solicitor at CJM Legal — appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court this morning charged with perverting the course of justice.

The magistrate is also facing additional deception charges.

Police prosecutor Abigail "Abi" Foulkes and another woman — whose identity has been suppressed — did not appear in court.

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They have appeared in court charged with abuse of public office and bribery. The allegations stem from an investigation by the state's Independent Commissioner Against Corruption ( ICAC ) into the planned 0 million upgrade of Yatala Labour Prison — the state's biggest jail — in Adelaide's north.

ABC News sought comment from SA Police about the status of Ms Foulkes's employment but received a statement saying it was "not the authority involved in this matter and as such cannot provide any further detail".

However, police later issued another statement confirming her employment.

"SAPOL can confirm a current serving police officer has today appeared in court on criminal charges that were not laid by SAPOL," police said.

"That police officer has been placed on restricted administrative duties."

Given all three women were reported for the offences, they were not required to attend.

The court was told that Ms Moyse appeared voluntarily.

Magistrate Harrap has been accused of twice racking up traffic fines in his government-issued car, misrepresenting who was driving and perverting the course of justice in relation to a matter he presided over.

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Virtually all criminal court cases start in a magistrates ’ court , and around 95% will be completed there. The more serious offences are passed on to the Crown Court , either for sentencing after the defendant has been found guilty in a magistrates ’ court , or for full trial with a judge and jury.

Magistrates ’ court , in England and Wales, any of the inferior courts with primarily criminal jurisdiction covering a wide range of offenses from minor traffic violations and public-health nuisances to somewhat more serious crimes, such as petty theft or assault.

He was assigned to the Christies Beach Magistrates Court in Adelaide's south when he was charged and will not sit on the bench until his court case is finalised.

The alleged offences took place in May and he was charged by the state's Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC) last week.

All four co-accused will be back before the court later this month.

In a statement last week, anti-corruption commissioner Bruce Lander said Magistrate Harrap had been charged with two counts of deception and one count of conspiracy to commit abuse of public office.

He has also been charged with conspiracy to attempt to "obstruct or pervert the course of justice or due administration of the law".

The offences are alleged to have occurred in May 2020.

Mr Lander previously said the investigation was ongoing and anticipated that other charges may be laid.

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