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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 September, 2003, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
Hanson to stay in jail until appeal
Pauline Hanson
There has been concern at the severity of Hanson's sentence
Australian right-wing politician Pauline Hanson has been refused bail for a third time, as she waits to appeal against a three-year sentence for electoral fraud.

High Court judge Ian Callinan found no "exceptional circumstances" to justify her release, although he said that there was no prospect of her re-offending or endangering the community.

Two earlier bail applications to lower courts have also failed, and Hanson has finally exhausted all legal avenues until her appeal is heard on 3 November.

She was convicted on 20 August of illegally registering her One Nation party in 1997, and fraudulently claiming A$500,000 (US$330,000) in campaign funds.

Her One Nation co-founder, David Ettridge, was also sentenced to three years in jail on the same charges, and he too was refused bail again on Tuesday.

The severity of Hanson's jail term has triggered an outpouring of sympathy for her, with even Australian Prime Minister John Howard voicing his concerns.

Jail 'boost to popularity'

Hanson, a former chip shop owner, shot to national and international attention in the late 1990s with her extreme views on immigration, Australia's indigenous people and asylum seekers.

She claimed that Australia would be overrun by Asian migrants, that Aborigines received unfair benefit payments not available to others and that asylum seekers were common criminals and queue jumpers.

She won a seat in Australia's federal parliament as an independent candidate in 1996, and in 1998 her party won almost a quarter of the vote in Queensland's state election.

The party began to disintegrate in the run-up to 2001 federal elections, in which it failed to secure any seats after Prime Minister John Howard's Liberal party moved to the right on immigration issues.

Hanson's jailing has been said to have strengthened her popularity among Queensland voters with senior members of the state's Labour Party worried that the public backlash could cost them the state government.




SEE ALSO:
Hanson refused bail again
15 Sep 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Jail raises Hanson's ratings
24 Aug 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Hanson jailed for electoral fraud
20 Aug 03  |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Pauline Hanson
27 May 02  |  Asia-Pacific
Australia's Hanson in comeback
19 Feb 03  |  Asia-Pacific


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