A Gold Coast criminal lawyer will begin defamation proceedings against the Qld premier over comments about the defence of bikies in court.
A Gold Coast criminal lawyer will sue Queensland Premier Campbell Newman for defamation over comments he made about lawyers who defend alleged bikies.
Hannay Lawyers principal Chris Hannay has asked a solicitor to issue a concerns notice to Mr Newman and Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie.
The notice relates to comments the premier made to various media outlets earlier this month.
Mr Newman was asked about a law firm advising its clients not to show up for their day in court if other bikies were also scheduled to appear.
The concern was that alleged bikies could face further charges under new anti-association laws, which make it illegal for three or more bikies to gather in public.
Mr Newman responded by saying: “These people are hired guns. They make money from people who sell drugs to our teenagers and young people.
“They are part of the machine, part of the criminal gang machine and they will see, say and do anything to defend their clients, try and get them off and indeed progress their case.”
The attorney-general later said the premier wasn’t besmirching all defence lawyers, and Mr Newman was responding to a specific matter.
Hannay Lawyers says it’s clear the premier was referring to the firm.
Solicitor Jeff Horsey on Friday said his client would demand a public apology and compensation for the denigration of Mr Hannay’s reputation.
“These personal and unsubstantiated attacks on Mr Hannay’s character are being answered to show that this government must be held accountable,” Mr Horsey said.
Mr Horsey and Mr Hannay will hold a media conference at 2pm (AEST) on Friday.
The press conference with Mr Horsey and Mr Hannay was later cancelled without explanation.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the premier needs to think before he speaks.
“Campbell Newman obliviously went too far in his comment once again attacking lawyers in this state,” she said.
“He continues to attack lawyers, doctors, nurses, workers: no one is safe under this government.”
Premier Campbell Newman says he’s not worried about being sued and isn’t seeking legal advice at this stage.
He refused to say whether he still stands by his comments.