Former NSW Labor minister Eddie Obeid has been found guilty of keeping his family’s business connections with Circular Quay a secret.
The misconduct of public office has led the minister to experience imprisonment for a specified period. The Supreme Court in Sydney declared the minister as guilty on Tuesday after a continuous trial of three weeks. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the 72-year-old minister seemed confident enough when he said that there was “only one percent” chance that he would face criminal charges. Despite the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s discovery of the guilt of the minister , he confidently said he was likely to face imprisonment.
Peter Neil, a Crown prosecutor, said that he would make sure he gets a jail sentence. Obeid was hugged by his daughters. He kissed his family members at the back of the courtroom following the case hearing. Eddie Obeid would be on bail until he is sentenced.
In late 2007, the jury heard that the minister had a conversation with the then deputy chief executive of the NSW Maritime Authority, Steve Dunn regarding the plight of Circular Quay. However, he never revealed his family’s direct financial interests in two Quay restaurants.
“Mr Obeid said to Mr Dunn that there were a group of retail tenants at the Circular Quay wharfs that were being mistreated by the Maritime Authority,” The Guardian quoted Neil as saying earlier in June. “Mr Dunn took it that Mr Obeid had contacted him as a member of parliament.”
It was Walkley award-winning investigation in 2012 that prompted to the latest ICAC inquiry against the minister. The investigation was led by duo Linton Besser and Kate McClymont. The pair unveiled the family secrets of the minister and its interest links with the said brand. The two also stated the MP has always used his political influence for the sake of its family’s financial stakes.
During the trial, another ex-Labor minister Joe Tripodi revealed that Eddie Obeid approached him while he handled port ministry in 2006. He, however, was not sure if the minister had any connections with retail businesses at Circular Quay at that time.
“And if he did have any kind of interest whatever in those retail tenancies while you were minister for ports, would you have wanted to know about it?” Neil asked. To the prosecutor’s question, Tripodi gave an affirmative response.
He said that he expected to be warned about this at that time to avoid “sitting here today.” What do you think of Eddie Obeid trial verdict?