Sunday, October 27, 2013


Tessa Akerman The Advertiser October 25, 2013
MP bids for charges to be thrown out
South Australian MP Bernard Finnigan Source: News Limited
STATE MP Bernard Finnigan has appeared in court this morning in a bid to have the child pornography charges against him stayed.
Finnigan is charged with one aggravated count of obtaining access to child pornography and one count of taking a step towards obtaining access to child pornography.
The charges relate to alleged offending between December 2010 and April 2011.
Today, Finnigan's lawyer Michael Abbott, QC, told the District Court prosecutors could not prove the steps Finnigan is alleged to have taken would have led to child pornography.
"We say that there is no evidence in this case that the steps taken, alleged to be have been taken by my client, is a step which would have yielded access to child pornography," Mr Abbott said.
"They cannot prove that any particular pornography existed let alone that it contained (people) 16-years-old or under."
Mr Abbott also said it was a matter of proving what one saw on the internet was correct in regards to the actual age of a person in an image online.
"The problem with the internet is that every picture can be manipulated," he said.
"White can be made black, brown, green."
Prosecutor Ian Press said if the appearance of a person in an image could not be used to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they were under the age of 14, there would be serious limitations.
"In the absence of identifying a specific person in the image, if appearance cannot be used to prove a range of ages below 14 years, then unless the prosecution can identify the person in the image, then an aggravated offence, I won't say (would) never be able to be charged but very rarely will they be able to be charged," he said.
The argument before Judge Steven Millsteed continues.


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