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CFMEU blackmail case heads to higher court

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2016

Senior Victorian CFMEU bosses will fight blackmail charges in the Supreme Court after failing to have them struck out at the committal stage.

Lawyers for the union's state secretary John Setka and assistant secretary Shaun Reardon had sought to have a committal hearing scrapped, arguing the charges were invalid.

After magistrate Kay Robertson ordered the matter proceed on Tuesday, barrister Robert Richter QC, for Setka, said papers would be filed with the Supreme Court asking that they be quashed.

"We say it's invalid," Mr Richter said.

"We will be asking the Supreme Court to quash the charges."

The pair are alleged to have blackmailed Boral executives Paul Dalton and Peter Head in April 2013.

The defence argued the blackmail charges were an attempt to criminalise behaviour that occurs within an industrial dispute.

The charges ignore legislative provisions that say no criminal action is to be taken on secondary boycotts where there is an industrial conflict, Mr Richter has previously said.

The matter has been listed for a special mention on February 6.

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