Eddie Obeid fronts corruption inquiry
RAW VISION: Former Labor minister Eddie Obeid arrives at Monday's ICAC hearing to face accusations of criminality.PT0M24S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2dti3 620 349 February 4, 2013
The inquiry into allegedly corrupt coal licences has reached a sensational climax, with the ALP kingpin Eddie Obeid taking his place in the witness box and facing accusations of criminality.
Counsel assisting the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Geoffrey Watson SC, has warned Mr Obeid that he intended to submit to the Commission that Mr Obeid had committed a serious offence.
Eddie Obeid arrives at the ICAC hearing flanked by his lawyers, including Stuart Littlemore, on Monday morning. Photo: Michele Mossop
"It is my intention to submit to the Commissioner that you, you Mr Obeid, you engaged in a criminal conspiracy. You engaged in that with Ian Macdonald and members of your family and the design was to effect a fraud on the people of NSW," he said.
Mr Obeid has denied wrongdoing, and told Mr Watson: "I won't be intimidated by you ... Or anyone else."
Mr Obeid stands accused by the Commission of corrupting a multimillion-dollar coal licence tender in 2008 with the assistance of the disgraced former minister Ian Macdonald.
Mr Obeid's son, Moses Obeid, admitted last week that through access to Mr Macdonald, the Obeids had stood to make $75 million.
Tempers are already fraying at the inquiry. The Commissioner, David Ipp QC, has raised his voice at Mr Obeid to tell him not to argue and to answer the questions put to him, or an "adverse inference" would be drawn concerning his evidence.
Meanwhile Mr Obeid's barrister Stuart Littlemore has objected numerous times to questioning by Mr Watson, finally drawing a rebuke from Mr Ipp, who told Mr Littlemore not to be "insolent".
The inquiry continues.
Follow senior investigative reporter Kate McClymont for the latest developments from the ICAC: