James Ashby
James Ashby

Staffer could face 10 years jail

THE staffer who has accused Peter Slipper of sexual harassment could face up to 10 years in jail for leaking excerpts of the Speaker's diary to a journalist and a political rival.

The Federal Court has heard Mr Slipper wants to refer James Ashby to the Australian Federal Police for investigation into whether he committed a criminal offence when he sent copies of the Speaker's diary to a former Howard government minister, Mal Brough, and the News Ltd journalist Steve Lewis.

In a letter to Mr Ashby, Mr Slipper's lawyers suggested the former media adviser could have breached sections of the Commonwealth Crimes Act, which prohibits public servants from publishing or communicating internal documents without authorisation.

The offence carries a maximum two years' jail.

The letter, written on June 28, also suggests Mr Ashby could be prosecuted for participating in a conspiracy with Mr Brough, Lewis, and another Slipper aide, Karen Doane.

Read more at Brisbanetimes.com.au