A Queensland lawyer retained by bikies is suing the state’s premier and attorney-general for more than $1 million over alleged defamation.
Hannay Lawyers principal Chris Hannay is seeking $500,000 in general damages from both Premier Campbell Newman and Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, the ABC reports.
The Gold Coast solicitor is seeking an extra $100,000 from each defendant for alleged “malice of the defendants in publishing words they knew to be untrue, motivated by a wish to make political capital out of an attack on lawyers,” court documents obtained by the ABC show.
The suit was filed in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday.
When asked about the filing on Tuesday night, Mr Hannay declined to comment to AAP as the matter was before the courts.
The row escalated in February when Mr Hannay asked a solicitor to issue a concerns notice to Mr Newman and Mr Bleijie relating to comments the premier made to media earlier the same month.
Mr Newman accused lawyers who advise and defend alleged bikies of being “hired guns” who “make money from people who sell drugs to our teenagers.”
“They are part of the machine, part of the criminal gang machine and they will see, say and do anything to defend their clients, try and get them off and indeed progress their case,” he said at the time.
Attempting to defend the premier, Mr Bleijie later said Mr Newman wasn’t besmirching all defence lawyers, and was responding to a specific matter, but Hannay Lawyers say he was clearly referring to the firm.
The Queensland Bar Association demanded an apology following the comments, which were also slammed by the Queensland Law Society.