New South Wales shouldn’t have to wait for justice: Opposition

The state opposition is calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed who has the power to quickly deal with those found guilty by the NSW corruption watchdog.

Ninemsn reports in the past it has taken up to five years for court proceedings to start after the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hands down its findings, opposition leader John Robertson said.

"Should ICAC hand down adverse findings, the public should not have to wait for justice to be served," Robertson said in a statement.

The latest ICAC inquiries have honed in on the activities of two former Labor ministers Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obied.

The watchdog is investigating whether former mining minister Macdonald rigged a 2008 tender process, granting an exploration licence over land held by the Obeid family.

In a separate case, also involving Macdonald, the ICAC has been digging into the details surrounding another coal exploration licence and the approval of a training mine in which ex-union boss John Maitland and a number of other entrepreneurs were party to.

 

After over six months of evidence, hundreds of witnesses, and some explosive revelations the ICAC inquiry has wound up with a decision expected to be handed down in July.

Here are just a few memorable moments from the hearings:

  • “You were upset because you had been described as Mr Lunchalot?” – Ian Macdonald’s barrister Tim Hale, SC, said to his client.

          “I was given a higher title … Sir Lunchalot,” Macdonald responded.

  • “[His] nickname … was that he was ‘Obeid’s left testicle’” – NSW Labor MP Luke Foley on Ian Macdonald.
  • “I think weasel words [means] … to provide as much information as possible and to answer the question” – Mining magnate Travers Duncan explaining the term ‘weasel words’ after he was heard using the phrase in a secretly recorded phone call.

           “Do you think I’ll find that in the Oxford dictionary?” –David Ipp, QC. replied.

  • “Please try and control yourselves at the back, at least refrain from clapping” – David Ipp, QC, after Geoffrey Watson, SC, announces another recorded phone call would be heard.

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