A former partner with the Slater & Gordon law firm has raised fresh questions about Prime Minister Julia Gillard's connection to a mortgage on a Melbourne property that her former boyfriend bought partly using stolen union funds.
Nick Styant-Browne has produced a 1993 Commonwealth Bank document that he claims contradicts what Ms Gillard told her Slater & Gordon partners about the mortgage two-and-a-half years later.
Mr Styant-Browne says the bank document faxed to Ms Gillard in March 1993 shows she was involved in organising insurance for the property in Kerr Street, Fitzroy.
The “Certificate of Currency” confirmed the property had been insured in the name of Ralph Blewitt, an Australian Workers Union (AWU) official closely tied to Ms Gillard's former boyfriend, the fellow AWU official Bruce Wilson.
The document was required for approval of a $150,000 mortgage provided by the law firm's loans department.
Ms Gillard subsequently denied any knowledge of the mortgage when her partners interviewed her in late 1995 about the work she had been doing for Mr Wilson, Mr Styant-Browne said.
“It's a matter for others to make judgments about the credibility of Ms Gillard's statements,” he told the ABC's 7.30 program on Thursday.
“But what I can say is this: there is absolutely no doubt that Ms Gillard not only knew about the Slater & Gordon mortgage in March of 1993 but was specifically involved in taking steps to facilitate that mortgage.”
The rest of the purchase money - reportedly in excess of $100,000 - Wilson allegedly siphoned from the AWU's Workplace Reform Association.
Ms Gillard has consistently denied any wrongdoing in relation to the property.
Her office on Thursday said Ms Gillard did not personally arrange for the mortgage insurance.
A statement from Ms Gillard's spokesman says conveyancing for the property was handled by paralegal Olive Brosnahan, under Mr Styant-Browne's oversight.
The statement says a note in Ms Brosnahan's handwriting appears on the publicly available file dated March 22 1993, which states Blewitt was chasing up the Commonwealth Bank.
“What this entry on the file shows is that Mr Blewitt was personally attending to dealing with the Commonwealth Bank about the certificate of currency,” a spokesman said.
Ms Gillard has no recollection of seeing the correspondence from the Commonwealth Bank, the spokesman said.
“Ms Gillard stands by her statements in the Slater & Gordon interview of 11 September 1995 as her best recollection of events two-and-a-half years earlier,” he said.
Ms Gillard also denies any wrongdoing over a fund she helped set up for free and off the books that Mr Wilson and other AWU officials used to finance their re-election campaigns.
Mr Styant-Browne said he has no personal grievances against Ms Gillard and only came forward with his claims because he believes it is “in the public interest”.
Mr Blewitt this week returned to Melbourne from his home in Malaysia and will meet with Victorian police on Friday to tell of his involvement in the slush fund.
“I just want to go back to Malaysia and live in peace and forget the whole bloody thing and see what happens,” he told Macquarie Radio in Sydney on Thursday.
Mr Blewitt has previously admitted he engaged in fraud with Mr Wilson by issuing bogus invoices and receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars during the 1990s.