Craig Thomson under the rain.
CHRIS UHLMANN: You mentioned the HR Nicholls society, who is paying your legal bills?
KATHY JACKSON: I’m paying my legal bills. Um … I’ve got a $40,000 debt already. That the union won’t pay for. And Brett Shields for Reid Zafp are doing all the work pro-bono and so is Stewart Ward.
With Chris Smith on 2GB, Jackson stated “no-one is paying those fees” and that “all are doing it pro-bono” — so, where did the $40,000 debt figure come from?
CHRIS UHLMANN: Are you still using Harmers workplace lawyers?
KATHY JACKSON: Yes I am.
CHRIS UHLMANN: And are they doing that work pro-bono?
KATHY JACKSON: Yes they are.
CHRIS UHLMANN: Are you aware that it’s the same law firm that’s representing James Ashby the man who has accused the Speaker of sexual harassment.
KATHY JACKSON: I am now.
Given the media attention, it would seem to be beyond belief that Jackson would not have been aware of this fact by last night. In any case, she did not look in the slightest bit shocked or surprised at this revelation in the interview.
CHRIS UHLMANN: And why do you think Harmers workplace lawyers is representing you pro-bono?
KATHY JACKSON: I think they are representing me pro-bono because they believe in my case. I’m not making this up. The allegations that I have taken to the police are serious and genuine. I have not made these allegations to set Craig Thomson up or anybody up.
How nice of them. If legal firms operated in that manner, they would only charge a fraction of their clients — as I’m sure they believe in many, if not most, of their cases. By Jackson’s logic, if Harmer’s charge a client for their services, they must think they are guilty, or not believe in their case — a ridiculous proposition and one that shows a lack of transparency by Jackson.
In my view, for the reasons described – and others – Kathy Jackson did not seem to me to be at all a convincing witness, especially given her statement contained significant unexplained discrepancies with the public record. Her response on 7.30, in all, would appear to lend added credibility to Craig Thomson’s claims. Of especial note is that Jackson did not deny that Michael Lawler was involved in strategy meetings with the HSU.
Of course, all this may be entirely coincidental and the Jackson-Lawler-Liberal connection may be entirely innocent. Thomson may, indeed, be guilty. However, he deserves the presumption of innocence — especially given the waters are so murky.