Edman texts exposed in Japan scandal

Sound Telegraph
Phil Edman.
Camera IconPhil Edman. Credit: WA News

A former City of Rockingham councillor and Upper House member who previously ran for the Liberals in the seat of Brand has been caught up in a Corruption and Crime Commission inquiry on the allegedly corrupt conduct of the former trade commissioner in Japan.

The report on former trade commissioner Craig Peacock, tabled in State Parliament last week, and named former local councillor Phil Edman in a case of Mr Peacock allegedly misusing his office.

The report recounted a 2015 Japan trip in 2015 when Mr Edman, a close friend of Mr Peacock’s, asked for an itinerary for a trip to Tokyo to be put together, saying he wanted to go to a geisha bar and that “the boys are sexually frustrates (sic)”.

Further on, He stated “Never had a Japanese honey before” and “Your (sic) our best trade commissioner.”

The report stated in a text message exchange between the two men, Mr Edman said he needed to use up his electoral allowance, stating that “Which means the DSD (Department of State Development) can f... themselves!!!! No need for them to control. Need to spend some $$$ Asap.”

Mr Edman did not respond to the Sound Telegraph when contacted.

A trip to a bathhouse in Tokyo’s red light district Yoshiwara was organised by a Senior Advisor at Mr Peacock’s office, at a cost of around $700 per person.

Mr Edman served as a City of Rockingham councillor from 2005 until 2009, representing the Safety Bay Ward.

He was later elected to the Legislative Council as Member for the South Metropolitan region in 2008, but lost his seat at the 2017 election

When questioned about the text messages about the Tokyo trip, Mr Edman said that most of them were not serious, and that it was “just boys being boys”.

He also denied he was seeking sexual services, and that instead he had wanted to experience a “traditional” Japanese bathhouse massage, which they received.

However, Mr Peacock said he thought he was being asked by Mr Edman to arrange sexual services in Japan.

Another former MP, Brian Ellis was also named in the report as attending the trip to Tokyo and the bathhouse.

Although a request for a suppression on being named in the report was requested by Mr Edman, it was denied.

The report did not suggest that Mr Edman or Mr Ellis engaged in any illegal or improper activity themselves.

Opposition leader Mike Nahan said the report indicated the former MPs had acted inappropriately and that the men had violated standards of behaviour expected for politicians.

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