News National Turnbull staffer’s ‘obscene act’
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Turnbull staffer’s ‘obscene act’

AAP
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A senior policy advisor for Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was charged on Thursday with public indecency and drug charges over a bizarre incident at Canberra Airport.

The Australian Federal Police has confirmed Stephen John Ellis, 48, was wearing a bondage mask and allegedly engaged in an obscene act in a public area of the airport shortly before his arrest.

The ACT Magistrates Court heard on Friday he was allegedly in possession of LSD and amphetamines.

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The court also heard the alleged act of indecency happened at Canberra Airport in the presence of another man.

It is understood that Mr Turnbull’s other staffers are concerned for Ellis’s welfare and don’t want to exacerbate the situation.

Stephen John Ellis leaves the Canberra Magistrates Court on Friday. Source: AAP
Stephen John Ellis leaves the Canberra Magistrates Court on Friday. Source: AAP

The former journalist has been working over the past week while the Federal Budget was released.

Given the matter is before the courts, Mr Turnbull’s office made no comment.

Ellis was granted bail and the matter was adjourned to June 5.

Bail was conditional on him agreeing to not consume any illicit substances.

Ellis left the court without speaking.

When asked about the charges, his lawyer James Lawton said: “No comment.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott was asked whether Mr Ellis should continue to work for Mr Turnbull. He told The Canberra Times  the arrest was a “private matter”.

“It is a private matter and I don’t propose to comment on something which is almost certainly coming before the courts,” he told reporters.

“I guess I just make general point that when people have personal issues, they should be given all the support and all the encouragement that they possibly can to work through those issues.”

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