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Attorney General Says He Never Knew His Son's Lawyer Was Also A Party Donor

A BuzzFeed News investigation revealed George Brandis appointed his son's criminal lawyer to a job worth $370,000 a year.

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Attorney general George Brandis has broken his silence on the recent government appointment of his son's criminal lawyer, claiming he never knew the man was also a Liberal National Party donor.

Dan Himbrechts / AAPIMAGE

BuzzFeed News revealed on Thursday that Brandis appointed his son's criminal lawyer Theo Tavourlaris to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal earlier this year.

Brandis released a statement on Friday, defending Tavoularis' appointment and making no mention of the fact the lawyer also represented his son in a 2014 criminal case.

Statement from the AG's office regarding Buzzfeed story about Brisbane solicitor Theo Tavoularis

"Mr Theo Tavoularis is a highly respected Brisbane solicitor who has been extremely well-regarded member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal," read the statement from the attorney general's office.

It also claimed, "(Brandis) was not aware of Mr Tavoularis's donation to the Liberal National party".

Tavoularis' law firm donated $1,200 to the Queensland Liberal National Party in August 2013, one month before the federal election and George Brandis' elevation to the post of attorney general.

ecq.qld.gov.au

Labor's shadow attorney general Mark Dreyfus has called on Brandis to answer a series of questions about the appointment, labeling it a "clear conflict of interest".

“Either Senator Brandis was not aware of Mr Theo Tavoularis’s history when he appointed him to this prestigious role, or the decision was made in the knowledge of the personal connection with his son," said Dreyfus.

“There is a clear conflict of interest issue in this appointment."

Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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