Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale defiantly protested his innocence as he was released from custody after being charged with extortion and two other offences.
Mr Pisasale, 65, was granted bail by the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning, subject to strict conditions, after he was charged on Tuesday and kept in the police watch house overnight.
Speaking outside the watch house to a large group of reporters, Mr Pisasale said he would be fighting the charges.
“Of course I will be,” he said, before being walked to a waiting car by his lawyer.
“All my life people know that I’ve fought for Ipswich, that I’ve fought for fair, and I’m going to continue with that, so I’m waiting for due process to happen.”
“Ipswich is a great place and it’ll continue to be a great place.”
Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale speaks with waiting media outside the Brisbane watch house after being released on bail this morning.More on the story here: http://ab.co/2sOleqG
Posted by ABC Brisbane on 2017年6月20日
When asked if the charges came as a surprise, Mr Pisasale replied: “No, but I hope the perpetrators behind this are brought to justice.”
Mr Pisasale, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and has other recent health concerns, said he was heading to a doctor’s appointment.
On Wednesday morning, a dishevelled Mr Pisasale sat in the dock of the court wearing a brown prison tracksuit, spending much of the hearing with his head down and sitting on his hands.
It was standing room only in the court, with more than 20 journalists packing in.
Details of the allegations against Mr Pisasale were not read out in court, and Deputy Chief Magistrate Terry Gardiner agreed to Mr Pisasale being released under strict conditions.
Mr Pisasale was granted bail on condition he surrendered his passport and not contact witnesses.
Mr Gardiner sealed the police affidavit, meaning further details of police claims would not be made public.
Mr Pisasale is next due in court on July 17.
The Crime and Corruption Commission has been investigating Mr Pisasale and raided his home and office on June 5.
Mr Pisasale resigned as mayor the next day, citing health reasons, and fronted the media in hospital – where he was being treated for multiple sclerosis – wearing a white gown and spotted pyjamas.
Mr Pisasale, who was once dubbed Mr Ipswich and known as a passionate advocate for his city, was elected mayor in 2004 and had been on the council since 1991.
He won last year’s council election with more than 80 per cent of the vote.