Vic union bosses fail blackmail appeal bid

Two Victorian union officials have failed in their bid to have blackmail charges dismissed by the Court of Appeal, and are now likely to head to the High Court.

John Setka and another CFMEU official have failed to get blackmail charges dismissed (file).

John Setka and another CFMEU official have failed to get blackmail charges dismissed (file).

CFMEU state secretary John Setka and assistant secretary Shaun Reardon have been fighting to avoid going to trial over the charges.

It is alleged the pair blackmailed Boral chiefs Paul Dalton and Peter Head in April 2013, urging CFMEU members to stop using Boral products if the concrete supplier refused to meet union demands.

Setka and Reardon applied to the Court of Appeal to stop Melbourne Magistrates Court holding a committal hearing, claiming they had an immunity under competition law.

However on Wednesday, Court of Appeal Justices Mark Weinberg, David Beach and Emilios Kyrouthat decided immunity did not apply to the blackmail charges.

They also ordered Setka and Reardon pay the magistrates court's costs for the appeal.

Setka and Reardon's application to the Court of Appeal came after they lost a Supreme Court bid in August to overturn the charges.

During that hearing, they claimed the alleged offences were not criminal acts, but had occurred in the context of an industrial dispute.

The men have indicated they are now likely to take their appeal to the High Court.

Neither Setka nor Reardon were present at Wednesday's hearing.

Following the hearing, the case was returned to Melbourne Magistrates Court, where a committal hearing was set by magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg for May 7.

The matter is scheduled to last for 13 days, although this time frame may change.

Lawyer Neil Clelland QC appeared on behalf of the two men, telling Mr Rozencwajg that Gordon Legal had taken the case over from Slater & Gordon.

Back To Top