Australian Corruption Suspect Hospitalized
Three days after authorities charged a senior Australian bureaucrat with pilfering more than AU$ 2.5 million (US$ 1.7 million), he was rushed in critical condition to a Perth hospital, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
Neither the Guardian nor Australian media reports provide specifics on what led to Department of Communities official Paul Whyte’s condition, except to note that emergency services, including a HAZMAT team, responded to a call and came to Whyte's home. He was transported to a local hospital.
Australia’s Corruption and Crime Commission originally announced that Whyte and an unnamed associate obtained millions of Australian dollars over the course of two years. However subsequent media reports, including one from the Australia Broadcasting Corporation, say that on Friday the Perth Magistrates Court heard police were investigating whether the alleged theft was actually 10 times more, as well as whether the scheme may go back as far as 2008.
Whyte and his accused associate were granted bail at that hearing despite the prosecution’s opposition — though they were reportedly required to surrender their passports.
In its report on Whyte’s condition, the Guardian also noted that the pair allegedly spent part of the stolen money on racehorses, including paying a horse stud ranch in New Zealand.
Western Austrlian Premier Mark McGowan said in a statement that, “If proven, what has come out today [...] would be a complete betrayal of every Western Australian.”