George Christensen spent 12 months under Australian Federal Police investigation over Philippines travel

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has confirmed it is investigating Queensland MP George Christensen’s regular trips to the Philippines over a 12-month period and cash transfers.

The AFP told a Senate estimates hearing that the investigation began in late 2017, at least a year after Mr Christensen revealed he had been handed over to police.

Given the country’s reputation for prostitution and drugs, Mr. Christensen dismissed referrals and suggestions that he send money to foreign bank accounts as an attempt to smear his reputation.

Senior members of the government, including former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, were briefed by police at various times.

National Party leader Michael McCormack was also informed of the investigation when he took over as leader.

“We are concerned that the information we are assessing will become known,” AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin told the hearing.

“I thought it was appropriate that (Deputy Prime Minister McCormack) brief the deputy prime minister because of his unique circumstances.”

AFP told Estimates there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Christensen.

Andrew Colvin told a Senate estimates hearing there was no evidence of wrongdoing.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

Police officials also said the Nationals MP had repeatedly described the allegations against him as an attempt to discredit him.

When News Corp Australia published his travel history in the region last week, Christensen said it was part of a “corrupt” smear campaign against him.

“This entire thing is despicable and defamatory,” Mr. Christensen wrote.

“I asked myself why I was the subject of such a vile and hateful smear campaign, and I can only assume it was because I stood up for my constituents against the power of the present, or rather the power of the past, On too many occasions.

“They now want revenge and are trying to retaliate by siding with Labor in this smear campaign.

“There is no doubt that they will still be smearing people from the sidelines without adding their names to their accusations because the people involved in this smear campaign are so gutless and, in fact, are the lowest of the low. will behave like this.

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