Former NSW Labor ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald found guilty of corruption charges

Former NSW Labor ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald, and Obeid’s son Moses Obeid have been found guilty of conspiracy to wilfully commit misconduct in public office over the allocation of coal licences in the Upper Hunter in 2008.

Obeid, 77 and his son Moses, 51, were accused of conspiring with Macdonald, 72 then the minister responsible for mineral resources, to grant a lucrative coal exploration licence over Obeid’s family farm. It eventually led to a $30m windfall for the family.

But it also sparked an inquiry by the Independent Commission Against Corruption and eventually criminal charges.

Justice Elizabeth Fullerton, who presided over the case without a jury, heard from 38 witnesses in the year-long trial.

Justice Fullerton found that a conspiracy to ensure a mining licence was granted over the Obeid’s property, Cherrydale Park, was proved beyond reasonable doubt.

She found there was evidence that Moses Obeid had formed an agreement some time before May 2008 with Macdonald.

Although there was no direct evidence of Edward Obeid participating in the agreement, she found there was an inference that his son would not have made the agreement without his knowledge.

Applications will be made Thursday about whether the three should be placed in detention.

More to follow …

source: theguardian.com