The case against Mal Brough: what the judge says unfolded
MAL Brough says he offered to help Peter Slipper's media minder Karen Doane obtain a job because she was a "woman of great credibility" and deserved a go.
The Federal Court judgment tells a different story.
It tells of how Slipper staffer James Ashby worked with Ms Doane and Mr Brough to launch a political attack on Mr Slipper through a sexual harassment case.
It says they provided Mr Brough with copies of Mr Slipper's diary entries for a national story by News Ltd journalist Steve Lewis, designed to bring Australia's then Speaker down.
"Mr Ashby and Ms Doane had decided by 29 March 2012 that Mr Ashby would make allegations of sexual harassment in legal proceedings against Mr Slipper and would assist Mr Brough and Mr Lewis to damage Mr Slipper in the public eye and political arena with any information they could find,'' Justice Steven Rares found.
"Within a day or so Mr Ashby and Ms Doane were providing Mr Brough and Lewis with copies of Mr Slipper's diaries.
"Once they had decided on their course of action, Mr Ashby and Ms Doane did not go straight to see a lawyer to air any concerns about any legal wrongs that either may have suffered.
"Instead, Mr Ashby or Ms Doane contacted Mr Brough and they began working with him and Mr Lewis.
"They asked Mr Brough to help them find a lawyer.
"They used their positions on his staff surreptitiously to copy and provide extracts from Mr Slipper's diaries for periods in 2009 and 2010 at the requests of both Mr Brough and Mr Lewis.
"At this time, Mr Ashby and Ms Doane saw Mr Brough as their means of obtaining favour from the LNP in seeking new employment.
"It was obvious that once what Mr Ashby was then planning became public, he and Ms Doane could no longer work as members of Mr Slipper's personal staff. The relationship of trust and confidence (if it still subsisted) between Mr Slipper and the two staff members would have been destroyed by their acts of calculated disloyalty.
"The timing of Mr Ashby's and Ms Doane's actions immediately after 24 March 2012 is also significant.
"They believed that new job opportunities would open up to them after the LNP won government in Queensland.
"If Mr Ashby could discredit Mr Slipper politically by helping Mr Brough and using Mr Lewis, he perceived that would gain favour for him and Ms Doane in the eyes of the LNP.''
The position falls into line with claims by billionaire Clive Palmer this week that Mr Brough asked him to help fund the sexual harassment case to 'destroy Peter Slipper'.
Mr Palmer also said Mr Brough asked him to provide a woman with a job.
Mr Brough confirmed he had tried to get Ms Doane a job at Mr Palmer's resort.
The court heard both Mr Ashby and Ms Doane believed if they worked to bring Mr Slipper down, they would have the 'black mark' against their names removed.
"...this would open the way for the LNP or persons with whom Mr Brough and his allies appeared to have had influence, such as Mr Palmer, to give them favourable consideration for employment once again.
"Ms Doane continued to press Mr Brough for help in pursuing her opportunities,'' the judgment said.
On April 10 last year, she emailed him her resume for consideration by Mr Palmer.
"Mr Brough was unlikely to have been offering to assist Ms Doane and Mr Ashby... looking for new careers out of pure altruism.
"Realistically, his preparedness to act for them was created and fed by their willingness to act against Mr Slipper's interests and assisting Mr Brough's and the LNP's interests in destabilising Mr Slipper's position as Speaker and damaging him in the eyes of his electorate.
Mr Ashby wrote that he totally agreed with Ms Doane's observation in texts on March 30, 2012 that what they were doing, in seeking to bring the sexual harassment case, would "tip the govt to Mal's and the LNP's advantage".