Police probe speaker fraud claims
Police have begun an official investigation into fraud allegations against the speaker of Australia's Parliament.
Australian Federal Police said in a statement that they have decided to launch a formal investigation into allegations that House of Representatives Speaker Peter Slipper misused taxi payment vouchers.
Police had been evaluating the allegations since last month.
The launch of the probe comes a week after Mr Slipper claimed to have been exonerated of the allegations by taxi payment vouchers released by a government department.
A fraud conviction could cost Mr Slipper his seat in Parliament and the government of prime minister Julia Gillard its slender majority.