SA MP accused of stealing $2 million

Tim Dornin
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Mt Gambier state MP Troy Bell has been granted bail after appearing in court on 26 charges.

A South Australian MP, who quit the Liberal Party amid theft and dishonesty charges, is accused of stealing more than $2 million, court documents show.

Troy Bell, 43, came before the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with 20 counts of theft and six of dishonestly dealing with documents.

All the charges, which follow an investigation by the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption, relate to a period before he entered state parliament in 2014.

Prosecutors asked for a longer than usual adjournment because of the large volume of material to be processed, including many volumes of paperwork.

Bell was placed on bail with conditions he lodge a $2000 cash surety with the court and also seek permission to leave the state.

Outside court, the now independent MP said he would "vigorously" fight the allegations against him.

"I've done nothing wrong and that will be proven in time," he told reporters.

Bell's lawyer Bill DeGaris also confirmed that all the charges would be defended.

"But we just need to let the court processes take their course," he said.

In relation to the 20 counts of theft, court documents allege Bell dishonestly dealt with money from the South East Education and Training Association and the Limestone Coast Education and Training Association between 2009 and 2012.

The six dishonestly dealing with documents charges relate to offences against the Millicent High School between 2010 and 2013.

Amounts in the individual charges range from $4000 to more than $180,000.

When the allegations against Bell first surfaced last week he said they had left him "sick to my stomach" and in a state of "disbelief and shock".

The MP also vowed to continue to sit in state parliament and did not rule out standing at the next state election in March.

Bell will return to court in December.