Ex-NSW minister seeks judge-alone trial

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·1-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Former NSW Labor minister Ian Macdonald and union boss John Maitland will ask that their criminal retrial over a 2008 mining licence be heard by a judge and not a jury.

In a brief hearing in the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday, Justice Hament Dhanji heard the request would be based on an earlier application for a judge-alone trial in separate criminal proceedings that Macdonald faced along with Eddie and Moses Obeid.

"It will be of the same ilk as was made by Mr Macdonald in his previous trial with Obeid," said Macdonald's lawyer Michael Bowe.

The Crown has yet to say whether it will oppose the application.

Macdonald, 73, and Maitland, 76, have been charged over the 2008 grant of the Doyles Creek mining licence in NSW's Hunter Valley.

Macdonald is accused of misconduct in public office for favouring the interests of Doyles when granting the licence without a competitive tender. Maitland is charged with being an accessory to the fact.

The pair were convicted in 2017 after a lengthy jury trial. However, that conviction was quashed in February 2019 after the appeal court found the jury was misdirected at trial on the state-of-mind element of the offence.

Maitland is out on bail while Macdonald is in prison after being convicted in October last year along with the Obeids in a separate trial over a coal exploration licence in Bylong Valley which granted a $30 million windfall to their family.

The hearing with the Obeids was heard by Justice Elizabeth Fullerton without a jury.

In that conviction, Macdonald was jailed for at least five years and three months, Eddie Obeid was jailed for at least three years and 10 months, while his son was jailed for at least three years.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting