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Mayor to plead guilty to election breach

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Marion mayor and former state MP Kris Hanna was represented by one of his highest-profile former colleagues when he fronted court this morning, indicating he would plead guilty to a charge of publishing inaccurate election material.

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As InDaily revealed yesterday, Hanna is facing one count of publishing electoral material containing an inaccurate statement, relating to his 2018 re-election campaign as mayor of Marion council in Adelaide’s south.

Earlier the same year, he was one of Nick Xenophon’s highest-profile recruits for SA Best’s ill-fated state election campaign.

He was previously a state MP for the southern suburbs seat of Mitchell from 1997 until 2010, first as a Labor backbencher, but later quitting the party to sit on the crossbench.

However, one of his former Labor colleagues represented him in the Adelaide Magistrates Court today, with former Attorney-General and Deputy Premier John Rau, who has since returned to the Bar, telling magistrate Ben Sale that Hanna would plead guilty to the charge brought by the Electoral Commission of SA.

The matter was adjourned until next month, with Sale telling the court he had received a dossier of material from the defence this morning and had not yet had a chance to read it.

Holly Nikoloff, for ECSA, said she had an objection to some of the material tendered to the court, which included an election flyer, a Facebook post and an opinion piece published in News Corp’s The Advertiser.

Outside court, Hanna declined to answer questions, telling reporters: “I’ll be saying a lot about this after the case is finished.”

“There’s a whole lot of questions I really look forward to answering once the case is finished,” he said.

Asked about his former Labor colleague Rau appearing on his behalf, he said: “It’s true, I’m legally represented – I’ll have more to say once matters are actually finished.”

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