The Director of Public Prosecutions John Champion S.C. today withdrew all outstanding criminal charges against Mr Geoff Shaw in the Magistrates’ Court.
Mr Shaw was charged by Victoria Police with 23 charges of obtaining property by deception and one charge of misconduct in public office.
The Office of Public Prosecutions received the brief for this matter on 8 October 2013.
Upon reviewing the brief of evidence, the DPP consented to an application by the defence for the matter to be referred to the Magistrates’ Court Diversion Program on one rolled-up charge of obtaining financial advantage by deception.
The criteria for a matter to be recommended for a Diversion Order includes that the accused person acknowledges responsibility for the offence, and that the Prosecution consents. An acknowledgement of responsibility is not the same as an acknowledgement of guilt, and a Diversion Order does not constitute a criminal conviction.
A Magistrate subsequently determined that the matter was not suitable for diversion and Mr Shaw’s counsel indicated that he would plead not guilty to the reinstated charges.
The DPP has determined (in accordance with the criteria in his Policy relating to prosecutorial discretion, available on the OPP website) that there is not a reasonable prospect of criminal conviction in this matter.
As the matters alleged against Mr Shaw have been referred to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee, it is not appropriate for the Director to comment further.
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