Craig Thomson Gets Strip Search; Top 5 Celebrities Humiliated with Strip Searches

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By Vittorio Hernandez | February 1, 2013 11:36 AM EST

The lawyer of disgraced independent MP Craig Thomson disclosed on Friday that the lawmaker was strip searched by New South Wales police after his arrest on Thursday.

Chris McArdle is the legal counsel of Mr Thomson who was arrested over 149 fraud charges over his handling of Health Services Union (HSU) funds, which he is accused of mismanaging.

The lawyer described the strip search as a humiliating for the 48-year-old MP and said the treatment was "absolutely extraordinary intimidation of an innocent man."

"These two goons put on rubber gloves, one stood in front of him, one stood behind him, and they said 'take off your shirt,'" Network Ten quoted Mr McArdle.

"They examined his shirt to see if there were any Molotov cocktails . . . He had to take all of his clothes off and stand naked in front of these two galoots who then took him into the court and sat each side of him," the lawyer added.

Peter Severin, chief of NSW Corrective Services, denied Mr McArdle's claim that the strip search done on the MP was to intimidate Mr Thomson. He said strip searches are standard procedures for safety reasons.

Strip searches as a police procedure had been debated in different jurisdiction such as the U.S. Supreme Court.

Deceased pop star Michael Jackson was strip searched in 1991 by Santa Barbara Police when he was accused of child molestation.

Mr Jackson described the strip search as the most humiliating experience in his life.

Other celebrities who have undergone strip searches include British singer Lily Allen and supermodel Agyness Deyn while they were en route to the launch of the most expensive resort in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The incident happened in November 2008. Besides the two women, actor Rhys Ifans and Albert Hammond, the rock-star boyfriend of Ms Deyn were also strip searched by Dubai Customs officials to ensure they were not bringing in illegal drugs into the Middle Eastern country.

Because of the controversy generated by strip searches, the FBI had released the following video guidelines on how to properly conduct strip searches.

The FBI guide seems to be followed by a number of U.S. police departments.

Mr Thomson had previously denied the accusations of HSU fund misuse. Following his arrest, the Opposition challenged Labor, where the embattled MP was once a member until the fund scandal, to refuse Mr Thomson's vote when the Australian Parliament resumes session next week, similar to what the Coalition is doing.

"If Craig Thomson tries to vote with us, we remove one of our members . . . We think (Prime Minister) Julia Gillard should do the same thing," ABC quoted Christoper Pyne, manager of Opposition business.

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