Pauline Hanson pressures Beattie for compensation

BRISBANE - Controversial One Nation founder Pauline Hanson has upped the ante on her bid for compensation for being wrongfully jailed.

Prominent lawyer Chris Nyst today said Ms Hanson had petitioned Premier Peter Beattie for compensation after spending 11 weeks in jail before her conviction for electoral fraud was overturned in 2003.

Ms Hanson's move comes about a week after the Queensland government reached a settlement of $A475,000 for former chief magistrate Di Fingleton, who was wrongly jailed for six months for retaliating against a witness.

Ms Fingleton also has been offered the position of magistrate at the Caloundra Courthouse in south-east Queensland.

"The injustice which (Ms Hanson) suffered was at least as substantial as that suffered by the former chief magistrate Diane Fingleton," Mr Nyst said in a statement.

"(Ms Hanson's) political career was destroyed; she was publicly disgraced, traumatised and ultimately imprisoned.

"Thankfully, her experience in that regard, like Ms Fingleton's, was almost unique in our history, and like Ms Fingleton's it calls for frank and unqualified recognition, and compensation, by the state."

Ms Hanson's only crime was "that she became a popular political figure who polarised views within the community and challenged her political opponents," Mr Nyst said.

"Ms Hanson sees Mr Beattie's government as one which is willing to acknowledge error where it has occurred and act accordingly, and she is therefore confident that her claim for compensation will be settled promptly and satisfactorily."

The premier's office did not immediately respond to Mr Nyst's comments.

However, Mr Beattie has previously refused to meet Ms Hanson's demands, saying Ms Hanson's case did not warrant compensation because it differed from Ms Fingleton's.


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