Sporting a brace on his left forearm and wrist, independent senator and former One Nation member Rod Culleton says he was the victim of a “very callous attack” outside a Perth court and has spoken to the police about it.
He also rejected claims that he was “shaping up” for a fight, after footage showed him taking off his jacket and confronting former Liberal MP and current One Nation member Anthony Fels on Tuesday.
“I threw my jacket off because I was constrained … that jacket happens to be one of my favourites,” he said on Wednesday.
The senator said women were screaming and he wanted to protect his staff, wife and children.
But AAP understands Mr Fels, a farmer from the same southwest WA region as Senator Culleton, denies being aggressive or physical and says he was just trying to hand over a creditors petition.
AAP has been told that petition contained the names of 40 alleged creditors owed an alleged $3.93 million, including farmers.
Senator Culleton denies owing anyone money.
Mr Fels hopes to stand for One Nation at the WA election in March and party leader Pauline Hanson ordered him not to speak to media on Wednesday.
Senator Culleton and his wife Ioanna held a press conference claiming they were “set up”, pointing out that media were suddenly present to witness what happened on Tuesday.
They were at court to extend violence restraining orders that Mrs Culleton has taken out against Senator Culleton’s former friends-turned-enemies- farmers Frank Bertola and Bruce Bell – who they claim have threatened them.
The two men, who are among the creditors claiming they are owed money, were dramatically arrested by police in the Federal Court in Perth a fortnight ago for breaching the VROs.
They had sat provocatively at a lawyer’s table near Senator Culleton at a hearing in which he was declared bankrupt, although he is appealing the ruling.
Senator Culleton said he was hit from behind by a bigger and heavier man, which led to him tripping over a friend who had tried to block Mr Fels from handing over the papers.
“I hit the ground heavily on the concrete, it was a very callous attack and hurt very much … simply it was like an experience with a bull back on the farm,” Senator Culleton said.
Senator Culleton was discharged from the Royal Perth Hospital on Tuesday, following a conversation with police, but said he was still very sore.
He fell out with Senator Hanson after being elected last year and quit the party in December.
The bankruptcy ruling that threatens to end his political career was brought by former Wesfarmers director Dick Lester, to whom Senator Culleton owes $280,000 in unpaid rent following a WA District Court ruling.
He is also awaiting a High Court judgment on whether his election on July 2 was invalid and there are more alleged creditors including ANZ.
Senator Culleton said he was being attacked by powerful political enemies because of his stance over the years in pushing for a royal commission into the big banks
Senator Hanson told the Seven Network she was not impressed with the incident and no candidates for One Nation had been endorsed yet.
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