Australian opposition leader facing corruption test

Sydney, July 9 (IANS) Australia’s opposition leader had his credibility and reputation questioned by one of the country’s most senior judicial figures at a major investigation into corruption on Thursday.

The Australian Royal Commission is investigating widespread claims of corruption between unions representing workers and employers, Xinhua news agency reported.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten was brought before the commission to answer allegations surrounding the financial dealings of the Australian Workers Union (AWU).

When questioned for details surrounding the financial dealings worth A$780,000 ($584,000) of payments to the AWU by two companies in 2007, Royal Commissioner Dyson Heydon at one point rebuked Shorten’s evasive answers.

“A lot of your answers are non-responsive, some are responsive but then add something that isn’t responsive,” Heydon said.

Shorten, who was elected to parliament in late 2007, was publicly supported by his colleagues from the federal opposition Labour party, which he leads, throughout his testimony.

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