South Australian MP Fraser Ellis loses bid to dismiss fraud charges

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South Australian MP Fraser Ellis loses bid to dismiss fraud charges

South Australian MP Fraser Ellis has lost a bid to have deception charges dismissed against him.

The Yorke Peninsula MP is due to stand trial later this month.

The liberal-turned- independent is trying to contest allegations he made 78 fraudulent claims for an accommodation allowance that totaled more than $18,000.

He was one of two MPs charged with using the allowance for their use by the state's Independent Commissioner Against Corruption after a series of exclusive ABC News stories.

Mr Ellis had argued that the case against him should be dismissed because the allowance claim forms that are the subject of his alleged deception have been presented in parliament and made them subject to the absolute protection of parliamentary privilege. Magistrate Simon Smart dismissed Mr Ellis' application to stay the charges.

The ICAC Act of the state was amended in November last year after Mr Ellis was charged.

Among the wholesale changes, the protections of parliamentary privilege were strengthened, so that ICAC cannot exercise any powers in relation to any matter to which parliamentary privilege applies.