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MP appears in court over Parliament assault charge


South Australian MP Sam Duluk has sought to secure key documents as he appeared in court charged with basic assault over inappropriate conduct at a parliamentary Christmas party last year.

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Duluk came before Adelaide Magistrates Court on Tuesday after being accused of slapping SA-BEST MP Connie Bonaros on the buttocks at the party on December 13.

It was his first appearance since police issued a summons, with the former Liberal represented by high-profile lawyer Marie Shaw QC.

Shaw asked the court to issue a subpoena for certain documents to be produced by the company appointed by former parliamentary speaker Vincent Tarzia to investigate the allegations.

She said the defence was also waiting for the prosecution to disclose other information.

“That disclosure, I understand, is in train but the prosecution do seek more time to respond and provide the relevant documents,” she told the court.

Shaw asked for the case to be adjourned for six weeks, with magistrate Alf Grasso ordering it return to court on December 9.

Speaking soon after the court appearance, Premier Steven Marshall said the matter was now between the MP and the courts.

“It’s clearly a matter between Mr Duluk and the court at this stage, so I won’t be making any further comment,” the premier said.

Marshall said he was not aware of any issues with parliamentary privilege related to the documents being sought by Duluk’s defence team.

But he declined to speculate on the backbencher’s future in the parliament.

“Let’s wait to see what is the outcome of this case,” he said.

Duluk was banished from the Liberal Parliamentary Party over his behaviour and had his wider Liberal Party membership suspended.

But the parliamentary inquiry into his conduct was put on hold while the police investigations were underway.

Duluk made no comment as he left court on Tuesday but told parliament earlier this year that he deeply regretted his behaviour at the Christmas event and that it had caused offence and distress to others.

“My behaviour on that evening was not consistent with my character and values,” he said.

“I take full responsibility for my actions on that night.”


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