Icac hearing live: Daryl Maguire faces third day, with Gladys Berejiklian’s future as NSW premier in doubt | Australia news
Maguire ‘limited the information’ he gave Berejiklian.
Maguire on what he told Berejiklian:
I limited the information I gave her, yes.
He says he knew giving Berejiklian too much information would put her “in a really difficult position”.
If i went into specifics of issues and all sorts of complexities that might be involved. I didn’t think she needed to know and the conversations I had commissioner were of a broad nature and I regularly refrained from giving too much detail because a lot of it was hypothetical too.
But Robertson isn’t happy with that. He suggests to Maguire that there was at least “some discussion about kinds of steps you were taking to achieve benefits for people like Ms Waterhouse such as letting her know I’ve taken her up to your office and I’m trying to get them to help”.
I don’t know i would have been that direct.
So we’re played the intercepted phone call in which Maguire tells Berejiklian that he “took [Waterhouse] up to your office and said look can you solve this” before explaining the issues she was having with the roads and planning departments.
Robertson asks Maguire if that refreshes his memory about speaking with Berejiklian in more detail about that issue. It foes.
Now we’re played the intercept we heard first heard on Monday.
Maguire tells Berejiklian:
William tells me we’ve done our deal so hopefully that’s about half of all that gone.
Berejiklian’s response is:
That’s good, I don’t need to know about that bit.
William is William Leong, who was helping to find a buyer for the Waterhouse land, and told Maguire he would receive a cut. Robertson wants to know whether he had previously told Berejiklian who Leong was.
He’s telling the commission he can’t recall whether he’d spoken to her about Leong.
What it seems at least to my ears is you’re agreeing with Ms Berejiklian that there’s a particular class of information that you don’t propose to share with her, is that right?
Maguire agrees there was a “line at which you wouldn’t fix her” with compromising information.
Were you concerned if you shared a little bit more information … she might need to take action in exercise of her public functions?
Yes, I would have been concerned that it would cause an issue for her.
Maguire agrees it went the other way, too. That is, he believes there were certain things Berejiklian didn’t want to know.
We’re into the hearing now. Robertson resumes by asking Maguire about the Waterhouse deal.
He reads out a text message from Maguire to Berejiklian from September 2017 discussing his financial situation.
Maguire says in the text: “Also good news we clinched the land deal for my friends … should be back in black soon.”
Maguire says he can’t recall whether that was a reference to the land deal.
McColl interjects to say the only prospect of getting “back in black” was the Waterhouse deal.
Did you have any other potential source of $1.5m?
No commissioner I didn’t.
Maguire says he “can’t be sure” it was a reference to Smart.West “from that brief message.
But it’s an available inference.
Leak compromised premier’s privacy and security, Icac told
Arthur Moses SC, who is acting for Berejiklian, is speaking. He is very unhappy.
First he tells the commission that the publication of the transcript was a “violation of my client’s privacy and her security” was put at risk by the publication. He’s made proposed orders which would call for Icac to investigate who downloaded the transcript.
McColl tells him she’s advised that isn’t possible.
Then, Moses takes issue with some of counsel assisting Stuart Robertson’s questioning of Maguire on what Berejiklian knew or didn’t know yesterday.
He offers “a word of caution” to Robertson that questions should not be put without basis. Essentially, he’s saying some of Robertson’s questioning was based on a preposition he did not spell out.
“If my friend has a basis for it he should disclose it,” he said.
McColl does not seem impressed, and tells him if he has objections he should make them as they occur.
Transcript subject to internal Icac investigation.
Ruth McColl SC, the commissioner, has begun with an apology to Gladys Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire for the “inadvertent” uploading of the unredacted transcript from yesterday’s private hearing.
She notes they are subject to a strict non publication order.
She says the chief commissioner has instructed there should be an “internal investigation” into how the transcript was uploaded, and has referred it to the Office of the Inspector of the ICAC, Sydney barrister Bruce McClintock, SC.
We’re due to start in about five minutes. If you still need to get up to speed, here’s my wrap of yesterday’s hearing:
The premier, Gladys Berejiklian, will hold a press conference today at 11am. It’s putatively an update on the state’s Covid-19 case numbers, but I’m pretty confident that she will face some other questions too. Just like on Wednesday, we’ll have both Maguire and Berejiklian speaking at the same time.
While we wait for the hearing to begin, here’s our main story from this morning.
Documents released by Icac show NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian dined at Daryl Maguire’s Wagga Wagga home with a business associate linked to the cash-for-visa scheme now at the centre of the corruption inquiry.
Good morning. Welcome to what shapes to be the final day of Daryl Maguire’s evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, as part of its investigation into whether the former Wagga Wagga MP misused his position for his own financial benefit.
We’re sort of running out of journalist superlatives about the inquiry at this point, right? It’s been jaw-dropping, explosive, shocking, spectacular, you name it. On Wednesday Maguire made a series of damaging admissions, including that he had sought to “monetise” his political office.
Then, yesterday, Maguire told the inquiry he’d sought “guidance” from the premier Gladys Berejiklian, who he had been in a secret “on again off again” relationship since about 2015, over the $1.5m personal debt he’d been seeking to pay off, and spoke to her in “general” terms about some of his business deals. He said he couldn’t recall to what extent, though.
If that isn’t enough, the Icac went into a private hearing yesterday to discuss what the counsel assisting the commission Scott Robertson called information which “trespasses on matters of considerable personal privacy”. The extended private hearing led to an early adjournment on Thursday, before, incredibly, Icac accidentally published an unredacted transcript of the private testimony. At the same time, Icac also published about 2,000 pages of evidence from previously unheard interviews. The transcripts show that, among other things, Berejiklian dined at Maguire’s Wagga Wagga home with a business associate he partnered with to run a cash-for-visa scheme.
All this by way of saying a lot has happened, and there is still a lot to come.