Bring it on: Eddie Obeid says lay charges against me

EDDIE Obeid has challenged the Director of Public Prosecutions to bring on criminal charges following the latest corruption findings against him.

In a report released on Thursday, ICAC found the former NSW Labor powerbroker engaged in corrupt conduct by lobbying pubic officials over waterfront retail leases at Sydney's Circular Quay.

Criminal charges were recommended on the grounds he had called on former minister Carl Scully to ensure leaseholders were offered new leases with five-year terms with the knowledge those concerned had donated $50,000 to the NSW Labor Party as "payment for the carrying out of what they understood to be a promise that their interests would be looked after by the government.

There was evidence Mr Obeid had urged former ministers Michael Costa and Eric Roozendaal to push forward without a policy which would effectively eliminate any real policy of public tender, without disclosing his own financial interest in the leases.

Corruption findings were also made against former minister Joe Tripodi and former deputy chief and property division head of the Maritime Authority of NSW, who the commission heard were both aware Mr Obeid stood to gain from the policy when they endorsed it.

NSW Labor chiefs were in the process of formally expelling Mr Tripodi from the party on Thursday night.

Mr Obeid was also found to have misused his position as a high profile MLC to influence water leases at Cherrydale Park in the Bylong Valley.

While corruption findings have been made against several people over the course of eight separate ICAC hearings, criminal charges have only been recommended against Mr Obeid.

Speaking to ABC radio on Thursday, Mr Obeid maintained his innocence, describing the hearings as a "political witch hunt" against him and his family.

He said that unless the DPP took up any of the allegations his family were not in a position to defend themselves but should their day in court ever arrive "we will defend the allegations vigorously".



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