The ex-wife of controversial union boss John Setka was filmed asking a private detective to find a weapon to murder him with, a court has heard.
“I have to kill the father of my children,” Emma Walters, 46, allegedly told investigating officer Adrian Peeters during a meeting with him at her home in Footscray West, in inner-city Melbourne.
Walters has pleaded not guilty to making death threats and attempting to acquire a firearm without a license.
Emma Walters enters a Melbourne court on Tuesday
Emma Walters and her ex-husband John Setka leave court in 2016 alongside high-flyer Robert Richter QC
She had previously been charged with inciting trafficking in a drug of dependence and inciting conspiracy to commit murder, as well as committing an indictable offense while on bail.
Those charges were sensationally withdrawn in August by Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions.
Walters appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday to defend the remaining charges.
The court heard that Walters contacted Mr Peeters through associates under the pretext of wanting him to “debug” his house.
He visited her home on March 21, where it is understood the two men had a brief conversation about the debugging exercise before the conversation took a sinister turn.
“The defendant wanted Peeters to get a coin…and Peeters understood that coin to be a gun,” a prosecutor told the court.
The request led a worried Mr Peeters to start recording the conversation on his mobile phone, a court heard.
“I’m going to have to lure him here and I’m going to have to use him. I know how to use a gun very well,” Walters allegedly told the private investigator in a 22-minute video played in court.
“I just need a gun and I’m going to face the consequences of having to go through the legal process of self-defense.” I have this ability. I have to kill the father of my children to survive.
“There is a question of premeditation so that conversation never takes place. You have no knowledge of it and once you’re in court you can’t say you have knowledge of it.
Emma Walters and her lawyer Emily Clark (right) outside court on Tuesday
CFMEU Secretary John Setka and Emma Walters speak to the media during a press conference in 2019. Walters stood by Setka when he was criticized over comments he allegedly made about Rosie Batty.
The court heard Walters allegedly bragged about how she knew how to manipulate Victoria’s justice system to pursue a self-defense case once she fired her husband.
“I am a lawyer by training. From a legal point of view, what will be asked about me is the question of intention. So I have to put him in a situation where I accessed (the weapon) and used it for self-defense,” she allegedly told Mr Peeters.
Walters alleged that Setka had previously raped her and would use a similar accusation to justify his death, the court heard.
“He’s going to try to rape me again and I have to be ready for that,” Walters reportedly said.
She told the private investigator she planned to hide the gun in a drawer, which would allow her to quickly access it once Setka arrived at her home, the court heard.
“I have to do it in self-defense and I’m talking about killing the father of my children because I have no other solution to the situation I’m in,” Walters reportedly said.
The court heard Walters had no qualms about murdering her while her children were present in the house.
“I know how to use it. I’m not stupid like that… I think the best (place to commit murder) is here. So kids aren’t exposed to it,” Walters was quoted as saying.
“So the kids don’t see me killing their father, because that’s what I’m going to do.”
Former lawyer Emma Walters was questioned by police on Wednesday and charged with inciting conspiracy to murder John Sekta, the Victorian secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mines and Energy Union ( photo together).
Mr Peeters described Walters as relaxed as she allegedly described his vicious plot.
“She wasn’t really worried. When I asked her if there were any children in the house, she said “I don’t care”… she didn’t really care about anyone or anything else. .. children,” he said.
In the recording of Walters’ March 29 interview, which was also played in court, she calmly sipped coffee while the allegations were presented to her.
“I have nothing to hide,” she began.
Walters painted a terrifying portrait of Setka in court, portraying him as a controlling and abusive thug who used his powerful connections to bully and intimidate her.
“I have a problem with its connection to Footscray police station,” she told a detective.
Walters told police that Setka had four intervention orders, which he had violated more than 10 times.
“He’s 250 pounds and six foot four with power and resources behind him and he doesn’t like it when I don’t do what he wants me to do,” she said.
“It’s bad because I don’t agree to submit to what he wants, which is to say publicly that he never did anything he did. .. what he wants is to control me and because I don’t, that’s the very reason we’re sitting here now.
The hearing continues.