Former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper has lost his bid to have dishonesty charges dismissed on mental health grounds.
Slipper today faced the ACT Magistrates Court accused of misusing taxpayer-funded Cabcharge vouchers to visit Canberra wineries between January and June in 2010 and then trying to cover it up.
This morning his psychiatrist told the court that Slipper was suffering a major depressive disorder and had twice attempted suicide.
His lawyers argued the charges should be dropped on mental health grounds.
But the prosecutors argued his mental health condition did not seriously affect his mental functioning and the charges should remain.
He has pleaded not guilty to three charges of dishonesty causing a risk of loss to the Commonwealth.
The alleged offences occurred before Slipper was speaker.
Slipper sat quietly with his head bowed for most of today’s hearing.
Earlier this year, Slipper lost a bid to have the case thrown out on the basis he could not defend himself without breaching parliamentary privilege.
Slipper was the federal member for the seat of Fisher in Queensland but lost his seat in the last federal poll.