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Minister out in sex claim

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Invisible, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Invisible

    Invisible Admin Staff Member

    Oct 13, 2008
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    Veteran minister: Theo Theophanous is being investigated by police.

    VETERAN Brumby Government minister Theo Theophanous is being investigated by police for alleged sexual assault.

    Mr Theophanous last night stood down from Cabinet but strongly denied any wrongdoing.

    The Herald Sun believes the complaint relates to sexual assault allegations and is being handled by the sexual crimes squad.

    The alleged victim is believed to be known to Mr Theophanous and the complaint dates back a decade.

    The 60-year-old Labor powerbroker said he had stood down temporarily, adding: "I feel strongly that if a minister is the subject of a formal complaint, which is being investigated by the police, he or she should stand down until the matter is cleared up."

    The decision left the Brumby Government in crisis, forcing a reshuffle with Mr Theophanous's three portfolios -- major projects, industry and trade, and information and communications technology -- split between other ministers.

    An ashen-faced Mr Theophanous, who will go on leave until the issue is resolved, read from a statement and refused to answer questions.

    The father of four said he wanted to assure everyone of his innocence.

    "I know that they will be concerned about me and my family, and I want to assure them that I have no case to answer," he said.

    Police last night would not discuss the probe.

    Mr Theophanous said he had asked police if he was under investigation yesterday amid swirling rumours.

    "While I have not been advised by police as to the nature of that complaint, I have been advised that police are conducting interviews in relation to the matter," he said.
    "Even though I know that I have done nothing wrong, the test for ministers in a government is rightly high.

    "I am aware of my responsibility to protect the Government and the work it is doing for Victorians."

    The Herald Sun believes a sexual assault would usually have been handled by detectives from the area in which the alleged offence was committed.

    But experienced police said it would have been referred to the crime department because of the MP's public profile.

    Mr Theophanous is the only minister from the Kirner government to have survived into 2008 on the front bench.

    He is the brother of disgraced former federal Labor MP Andrew Theophanous, who was jailed in 2002 for 3 1/2 years over an immigration bribery racket.

    Source: Herald Sun