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Created Thu 29/10/2015, Last Updated Thu 29/10/2015

Explosive evidence before the Liberal Party's Royal Commission has exposed it once again as a flawed and biased political witch hunt.

A former colleague and friend of Andrew Zaf, the Commission's 'star' witness against the union last year, testified on oath that Zaf's serious allegations against the CFMEU Victorian Construction Secretary John Setka had been completely fabricated.

Mr Gary Cheetham also swore on oath that Zaf stabbed himself in the leg and lied to police regarding threats and intimidation in an attempt to add credibility to the evidence he gave against the CFMEU in 2014.

This testimony was supported by a police report that cast serious doubt over Zaf's claims.

That report, based on forensic analysis, showed Zaf's injuries "may raise the possibility of self-infliction", that his claim of a blow to the head was "improbable", and his claims raised "suspicion".  

Police described Mr Cheetham as a "reliable witness".

Mr Cheetham said that on various occasions Zaf engaged in dishonest and illegal business practices, including endangering the community by illegally dumping asbestos.

He also recounted a meeting between Andrew Zaf and Peter Chiavaroli another witness who made fiercely contested allegations against the CFMEU, where the men discussed the evidence they would give to the Royal Commission.

Dave Noonan, the CFMEU National Secretary said the latest developments were not surprising.

“Today’s evidence goes to the heart of the credibility of Andrew Zaf as a key witness in the Royal Commission”, he commented.

“The Commission was approached by Mr Cheetham previously but ignored his serious evidence. It is clear that the Commission was determined to pursue a case against John Setka, based on seriously flawed evidence and designed to smear him and his Union.

“The timing of today’s testimony, 15 months after the original allegations were made, demonstrates that the Commission did not want the fact that the case was based on spurious evidence to be made public. 

“A number of witnesses and so-called whistleblowers who were prepared to point the finger at unions during this Commission should have been subjected to the same level of scrutiny as Union witnesses were before they were given a platform,” he concluded.