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SA MP drops bid to see investigator report for court case

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South Australian MP Sam Duluk will not pursue a bid to obtain key documents related to his alleged assault of a fellow MP, amid claims they are covered by parliamentary privilege.

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Duluk came before Adelaide Magistrates Court for a second time on Wednesday after being accused of slapping SA-BEST MP Connie Bonaros on the buttocks at a Christmas party on December 13 last year.

At his first appearance, he 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.

But on Wednesday, defence counsel Dominic Agresta said after a claim by the current speaker that the material was protected by parliamentary privilege, Duluk would not seek to pursue access.

“We do not seek to press against the claim of privilege,” he said.

“It seems to me the subpoena has been answered. As I understand it everything that was returned is covered by privilege.

“In terms of the matter generally, I think the prosecution and I agree that the matter should be set down for a pre-trial conference.”

Magistrate John Fahey said he had not come across the issue before so “out of an abundance of caution” asked for written submissions before making a formal ruling.

He ordered the matter return to court for a pre-trial conference in February.

Duluk was banished from the Liberal Parliamentary Party over his alleged 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 outside court 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.”

Premier Steven Marshall has consistently refused to speculate on Duluk’s future in the parliament.

-AAP

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