Gets even more interesting. Did Julia know this was coming?
Federal MP Craig Thomson has been arrested at his electorate office and is expected to face 150 fraud charges.
Members of the NSW fraud squad on Thursday executed an arrest warrant on behalf of the Victorian Fraud and Extortion Squad.
Victorian detectives flew to Sydney this morning where they accompanied NSW police to Mr Thomson's Central Coast electorate office. He was arrested about 1pm.
Arrested ... Craig Thomson. Photo: Screen grab from Sky News
In a statement, NSW Police said Mr Thomson was arrested at about 1pm and was charged by virtue of the arrest warrant with a fraud offence.
A further 149 fraud charges are expected to be laid against the 48-year-old when he appears in Wyong Local Court. NSW Police said Victorian detectives are expected to apply for Mr Thomson's extradition to Victoria.
The Victorian police have spent almost 18 months investigating claims that Mr Thomson improperly used Health Services Union funds to spend on prostitutes, air travel, entertainment and cash withdrawals in excess of $100,000.
Former Labor now independent MP Craig Thomson has been arrested. Photo: Nick Moir
In October last year police raided Mr Thomson's Bateau Bay home as well as his electorate office.
They took away large boxes of material.
Mr Thomson was national secretary of the HSU from 2002 until 2007 when he was elected to Parliament. Earlier last year he was suspended from the ALP and has been sitting as an independent in Parliament since that time.
The head of the NSW Fraud Squad, Detective Superintendent Col Dyson, will address the media at 3.30pm.
Mr Thomson, who has continued to maintain his innocence, is expected to apply for bail. He is also facing civil proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia relating to allegations that he improperly used union funds for his own benefit.Arrest raises questions of 'judgment' for PM
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was alerted to the news about Mr Thomson during the question and answer session of his National Press Club address.
"We have certainly respected, or tried to respect, the rule that you do not comment on the specifics of cases which are currently before the courts and we will respect that rule," Mr Abbott said.
But the Opposition Leader said the matter raised questions about the judgment of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who he claimed ran a "protection racket" for Mr Thomson.
He said the opposition would continue to pursue those judgment questions.
Mr Thomson has been suspended from the Labor Party but it would be damaging for the federal government if charges are laid against him.
Coalition workplace relations spokesman Eric Abetz has questioned whether Prime Minister Julia Gillard knew about Mr Thomson's arrest before she announced the election date yesterday.
"[Ms Gillard might] like to tell us whether she had any pre-warning in relation to this arrest and her decision to call the election date yesterday," Mr Abetz said on ABC TV.
He said that while it was important "we constrain our comments" while the matter was before the courts, it was right for the Coalition to pursue the question of the Prime Minister's judgment regarding Mr Thomson.
"She has been acting as the chief defence counsel for Craig Thomson now for a number of years," he said.Thomson to plead 'not guilty'
Trade Minister Craig Emerson would not be drawn on whether the independent MP should stand at the next election.
"Let the investigative processes continue without political interference," he told Sky News, adding that Mr Thomson was entitled to the presumption of innocence.
"There has been no finding of guilt against Mr Thomson."
Mr Thomson's lawyer, Chris McArdle slammed the process of the arrest and said his client would plead "not guilty" to all of the charges.
"The rule of law has been supplanted by reality television and a circus," he told Sky News on Thursday.
"This fellow is innocent and will maintain that innocence throughout."
Mr McArdle was scathing that there was a television camera crew outside Mr Thomson's house and office since 7am when Mr Thomson did not know of his arrest until 1pm."He has been taken completely by surprise."
He also questioned the number of police that came to arrest the independent MP.
"It took five policemen to arrest him. [Mr Thomson] must be a karate expert and I didn't realise that," he said.
Mr McArdle said that Mr Thomson would be notified to appear in a Melbourne court next week but that client had not been extradited.
"He's done nothing wrong," he said.
Earlier, Mr Thomson said speculation he may be arrested on fraud charges ''could be right''.
''Let’s wait and see,'' he told AAP.
''[The media report] could be right.'' He said he did not intend to make any public comments at this point but ''if something develops today we’ll certainly be making some comments''.
Mr Thomson has strenuously denied allegations he misused union funds to pay for prostitutes, air travel, entertainment and cash withdrawals when he was the HSU national secretary from 2002 to 2007.
He would be disqualified from Parliament if he was convicted of a criminal offence that carried a jail term of one year or more.
Victorian police had not contacted him since they raided his home and electorate office on the NSW Central Coast in October last year.with Daniel Hurst, Nick Ralston, Judith Ireland
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/craig-thomson-arrested-by-fraud-squad-20130131-2dmnn.html#ixzz2JWXlm7Sc