The lawyer for embattled Australian MP Craig Thomson insisted on Wednesday that the former national secretary of the Health Services Union (HSU) did not commit fraud when he allegedly use the cards to pay for the services of prostitutes and other personal expenses.
Barrister Greg James, in effect, did not deny that Mr Thomson made those transactions, but stressed there was no criminal deception involved.
"The accused here has been given the right to use the credit cards for transactions ... He doesn't deceive the bank, the credit card provider or the service provider. He doesn't deceive the HSU," Mr James told the Melbourne magistrates court, quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald.
He emphasised that there was no evidence to suggest that the businesses, Commonwealth Bank and Diners Club, received payments from the use of the HSU cards by Mr Thomson were defrauded or shortchanged. "The providers couldn't care less about his relationship with the HSU," he added.
The line of defence seems to have taken into account the statement of Misty, a former Sydney prostitute who confirmed having provided sexual services to the former HSU official and was paid by Mr Thomson allegedly by using the HSU cards at least six times.
Mr James also said that, "All they care about is whether the bank or credit card will honour the transaction - and they did and the debts were paid."
The 49-year-old Mr Thomson has filed a not guilty plea to over 140 charges of fraud and theft.