Ex-MP Jami-Lee Ross went 'kamikaze' to stop demotion, court told

Source: 1News

The lawyer for former National Party MP Jami-Lee Ross says he went "kamikaze" politically to prevent his demotion, the court heard as the trial into the 2018 donations dispute continued on Wednesday.

Ross, alongside businessmen Yikun Zhang, brothers Shijia and Hengjia Zheng, and three others – who have name suppression – are on trial over the collection of two allegedly illegal $100,000 donations to National and Labour in 2017.

All of the defendants pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors for the Serious Fraud Office put forward that the donations were covered up with sham donors and Ross to avoid having to declare it.

Donations over a certain amount must be disclosed to the Electoral Commission.

The Crown’s case was sparked by Ross after he filed a police complaint against his leader after missing out on top jobs.

"I said that I believe he has committed a corrupt practice," Ross said.

But it was Ross, along with six others, who were charged.

"You and I can agree that politically, he did go kamikaze, didn't he?" Ross’ lawyer, Ron Mansfield, asked Bridges.

"Yes," Bridges responded.

There were political grenades, text messages, allegations, press conferences and secret recordings by Ross.

“He came out all guns blazing," Bridges said of Ross.

But Ross' lawyer painted a picture of an MP hurt and betrayed by his leader.

Mansfield read out a text sent by Ross to another party.

“I got f***** over pretty big time by a guy that I thought was a mate and I helped a lot," it read.

"Was promised leader of the House - taken away. Was promised to keep Chief Whip - taken away."

Mansfield asked Bridges if Ross' allegations were made by "a desperate and unwell man doing what he thinks he can do to stop you demoting him”.

Bridges replied, "True. He was desperate".

The High Court trial continues.