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first_imgIt has been reported that Theo Theophanous MP, after having charges dismissed on the rape case against him and not being committed for trial, will launch a parliamentary action that could result in the lawyer who prosecuted him being jailed. Mr Theophanous will invoke the full powers of, traditional and rarely used, parliamentary privileges against prosecutor Michelle Williams, SC. It was reported in The Sunday Age that Mr Theophanous has written to Legislative Council president Bob Smith asking him to forestall the other business of the House on Tuesday to give precedence to his motion alleging Ms Williams breached privilege when she used a parliamentary speech by Mr Theophanous from 2006, against him during his recent committal hearing.If he succeeds in securing vote to motion to refer the matter to the privileges committee it will be the first time in 40 years that a question of privilege has been addressed by any forum of the upper house. The committee has the power to reprimand, fine and on theory at least, jail Ms Williams for up to 15 months if it finds she breached the constitution. Under Victoria State Constitution Act, MPs “shall hold, enjoy and exercise such and the like privileges, immunities and powers as at the 21st day of July 1855 were held, enjoyed and exercised by the House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland.” As part of this, is the right that politicians enjoy of being able to speak freely without fear that what they may say will later be held against them in the courts. During the case Ms Williams read out a passage from one of Mr Theophanous’ parliamentary speeches in which he said that rape victims should be protected from questioning in court about their sexual history. In his speech he said that the court could be “re-traumatising through the very process.” Ms Williams accused Mr Theophanous’ lawyer, Robert Richter QC, through his questioning of a witness of, “flouting the intention of this legislation that was moved by his client.”It has been reported in The Sunday Age that the Clerk of the Senate Harry Evans believed that this was a breach of privilege. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more