‘Intimate’ and ‘private’ details of the relationship between Gladys Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire could be aired today, despite protestation from the former premier’s lawyer.
“Private” and “intimate” details of the relationship between Gladys Berejiklian and a former MP could be aired at a corruption watchdog on Thursday.
The former Wagga Wagga MP whose allegedly corrupt conduct helped bring down the NSW premier will testify.
Daryl Maguire is expected to answer questions on his secret relationship with Ms Berejiklian, who stepped down as premier earlier this month.
Ms Berejiklian’s barrister, Sophie Callan, SC, made an application to the ICAC commissioner before the testimony started to ask that certain “intimate” details of the relationship be discussed in private, rather than before the public.
“In my submission, there is no public purpose served by plumbing the depths of the private life of my client about intimate details of this relationship,” Ms Callan said.
She indicated that the counsel assisting the ICAC, Scott Robertson, had chosen to hear certain details behind closed doors last year, but that he had changed his mind this time.
Ms Callan said she understood Mr Robertson would seek to “scrutinise the level of commitment or substance of that relationship”.
“As I understand it, this year his position has changed such that he considers there is a proper basis for exposing such intimate private details in this public forum,” Ms Callan said.
Mr Maguire was a longstanding local member who agreed last year he used his parliamentary power to try and enrich himself.
He was originally drawn into an Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation in 2018 concerning a Sydney council.
Mr Maguire was caught allegedly giving false evidence to the commission, testimony that was contradicted by a bugged phone call.
The political fallout was hard and swift for Mr Maguire, who resigned from parliament shortly after his July 13, 2018 testimony.
He was also sacked from a role as parliamentary secretary by then-premier Berejiklian, who unbeknown to most people in parliament was his secret girlfriend.
Mr Maguire soon became the focus of his own ICAC investigation. That probe held public hearings last October, during the course of which his relationship with the premier was revealed.
Ms Berejiklian remained in the top job for another year after her bombshell testimony to the commission, before resigning when the ICAC revealed she, too, was a focus of investigation.
The current set of hearings, focused on allegations of whether Ms Berejiklian breached the public’s trust through her relationship with Mr Maguire, are a continuation of the same probe that looked into Mr Maguire last year.
The 2018 ICAC probe into the Sydney council handed down its findings in March this year and recommended that prosecutors consider charging Mr Maguire.
Ms Berejiklian is scheduled to testify on Friday. She has previously denied wrongdoing and maintains she always acted with integrity.
More to come.