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MP faces questions about 'lobbyist' speech

AAP logoAAP 27/09/2016

Embattled Liberal MP Stuart Robert's 2012 parliamentary speech defending a Gold Coast developer could have jeopardised the legal defence of an Australian man wrongly detained in Dubai for five years, according to his lawyer.

Fairfax Media has reported entire sections of the speech had been written by a lobbyist for developer Sunland, which was involved in a Dubai dispute that resulted in Australian man Marcus Lee being imprisoned and then placed under house arrest before finally being exonerated.

Mr Lee's lawyer John Sneddon said Mr Robert's speech came at a "quite a cruicial point" in the case and was dangerous for Mr Lee's defence.

"We thought it was just a bizarre thing to do," he told ABC radio.

"It was something that could have resulted in the Dubai authorities believing that any conviction of my client would carry the imprimatur of the Australian government."

Mr Sneddon said his client had sent Mr Robert, who represents the Gold coast electorate of Fadden, a letter complaining about the speech but described the MP as "dismissive" of the possible repercussions for his client.

"We certainly found Stuart Robert's conduct at the time to be really very dismissive and cavalier in terms of the possible consequences of his actions in terms of Marcus's legal proceedings in Dubai at the time."

Mr Robert last year resigned from the frontbench after it was found he breached ministerial standards by taking a personal trip to China in 2014 that involved witnessing the signing of a mining deal and discussions with government officials.

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