NSW Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen’s phone call recordings to tow truck driver, Ben de Jonk, has been revealed by Fairfax Media. The conversations happened in 2014, two days after Cunneen’s official car was involved in an accident.
De Jonk, 33, is undergoing investigation by Australian Crime Control over drugs and money laundering. It was during this time, that the recordings were revealed. The tow truck driver has partnered with the Geokjian family and co-owns a panel beating shop in Artarmon.
According to Fairfax Media, there are two conversations disclosed. The first talked about how Cunneen expressed her concern over insurance complications that might occur if found out that the driver behind the wheel was on P plate, and had alcohol in her system. The driver, who was not at fault, was Cunneen’s son’s girlfriend, Sophia Tilley.
As per the recording, the Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor was heard saying, “Let’s hope that St Anthony does a miracle and takes all the alcohol out of the sample.” In that same call, the Crown Prosecutor confessed that she influenced Tilley to “start having chest pains” so that she can buy some more time before performing the blood alcohol test. Later Tilley had admitted that she was under alcohol before driving out.
The second phone call was about Cunneen informing de Jonk how “the chest pains” had “bought her a few more hours”. These “few more hours” helped Tilley to get zero blood alcohol reading when tested at the hospital.
As per 9news.com.au, new details have emerged that both the tow truck driver and the Crown Prosecutor were present at the accident spot. While they were together, de Jonk called his friend, a smash repairer, George Kharadjian, to inform him about the accident. Right there and then, Cunneen and Kharadjian, who also happened to be Cunneen’s drinking partner, had a direct phone conversation.
“I could get away with a member of my family [driving]. I am just hoping she hasn’t had a f—ing drink,” Cunneen was heard to say to Kharadjian.
The conversations between the Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor and de Jonk also led about praying to St Anthony for a miracle.
“You know I have been so worried about it. I have been praying to my favourite saint, St Anthony, ever since [both laugh].”
The conversation ended up with the tow truck driver suggesting they should meet at Willoughby pub for beer.
Ben de Jonk has admitted that he knew Cunneen before the accident. But he “can’t remember” if they met at a pub or not.
Meanwhile, Margaret Cunneen denied knowing de Jonk at all. She has never heard of him and “never spoken to him on the phone either.” Rather, she said, “I don’t know him at all!”
“I was terribly distressed at the time, to arrive at that scene with ambulances, multiple police cars and fire brigade all in attendance and the cars obviously write-offs, as the many eye witnesses can attest.”
When asked about the “chest pains”, she admitted of joking about it to Kharadjian who acknowledged that he knows Cunneen from before.
“I’ve known Margaret for years just through the area. We drink at the same pub.”
The release of these conversations have initiated the investigation of corruption against Cunneen whether she has deceived justice, despite being a Prosecutor herself.