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Former Liberal MP pleads not guilty to impeding CCC in expenses probe

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Former upper house Liberal MP Phil Edman will fight charges alleging he informed colleagues about a Corruption and Crime Commission investigation into his parliamentary expenses.

Edman appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning to plead not guilty to five charges including willfully delaying or hindering the CCC in April 2019.

Former WA MP Phil Edman.

Former WA MP Phil Edman.Credit:Radio 6PR

He also faces four charges of disclosing a restricted matter in October 2019 to associates Pamela Palmer, Alison Gibbs, Louisa Barnes, and former Shooters and Fishers party upper house member Nigel Hallett.

His lawyer Finola Barr said Edman had entered firm not guilty pleas and would defend all the charges. A trial date will be selected on June 28.

Edman has been the subject of two CCC reports. The first, released in December 2019, claimed he had engaged in serious misconduct by using his electoral allowance to visit strip clubs and pay for “sugar babies”.

The watchdog then released a second report in November 2020, where it claimed Edman had alerted associates about the investigation and warned them about the contents of his laptop that had been seized by investigators.

In an intercepted communication to an associate, the report alleged Edman told him: “there’s enough stuff on that f---ing computer to bury f---ing a lot of people and ruin their political careers forever … there’s videos and pictures and lots of lovely little collections that I’ve got on there.”

The CCC alleged at the time the investigation had been impeded by a “particular witness”.

“Evidence has been withheld from the commission, with the result that the commission has had to utilise intrusive powers such as search warrants to obtain relevant material,” the report said.