One Nation leader Pauline Hanson says she blames Tony Abbott, John Howard and Peter Beattie for her 2003 prison sentence. The Queensland Senator-Elect was jailed alongside her party co-founder David Ettridge for three years in 2003, after being found guilty of fraud charges.
The pair were released after their convictions were overturned upon appeal. Speaking to Paul Murray, Ms Hanson said she puts the most blame on former prime ministers Tony Abbott and John
Howard, as well as former Queensland premier Peter Beattie.
‘Why did (Beattie) change the legislation prior to my trial from a 6 month jail term or a fine, under the electoral act, and make it a seven year retrospective?
‘The day I was sentenced, the two detectives at the back of the room were heard saying ‘it was never meant to go this far’, so there’s a lot of answers needed there.’
Peter Beattie defended himself shortly after Ms Hanson’s comments, saying his changes to the electoral laws in Queensland at the time were not targeted at her.
‘We brought in a whole lot of laws that were very tough and were designed to stop electoral rorting by anybody; they were not targeted at Pauline at all. She will believe that until the day I die, or she dies, and good luck to her with that,’ he said.
‘Anyone who knows anything about the history of Queensland will know about this rorting in the Labor Party which I fixed’.
Mr Beattie says he believes the system got it wrong in jailing Ms Hanson.
‘The court found her guilty and she was jailed, the same system had an appeal and she got off
‘The worst thing that could have happened politically while I was in office was for Pauline to go to jail, it made a martyr of her.
‘It was a decision of the courts and politicians and premiers don’t interfere with the decision of the courts. She got justice in the end by appealing… and she was cleared’.