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Former MPs Macdonald, Obeid and son sentenced to total 11 years in jail

Article image for Former MPs Macdonald, Obeid and son sentenced to total 11 years in jail

Former Labor ministers Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid, as well as Obeid’s son Moses, have been sentenced to a combined maximum of 21 years behind bars after conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.

The trio were found guilty in July over a rigged exploration tender linked to a Central West property that delivered $30 million to the Obeid family.

Justice Elizabeth Fullerton has sentenced Mr Macdonald, who committed “five discrete acts of misconduct” and played a “pivotal role” in the conspiracy despite not being found to have financially benefitted, to a maximum of nine years and six months.

A non-parole period of five years and three months applies to his sentence.

Eddie Obeid has been sentenced to seven years in jail, with a non-parole period of three years and two months.

Moses Obeid, taking into account his lack of position of public office, has been handed a five year sentence, with a three year non-parole period.

Special circumstances have been taken into account in the sentencing of all three men, given lenience due to age and medical conditions.

“The objective seriousness of the conspiracy to which each of the offenders is to be sentenced was one of the highest order,” Justice Fullerton said.

“Each of the offenders knew when they entered into the agreement of the existence and scope of the duties and obligations by which Mr Macdonald was bound in discharging the public office he held as the Minister for Mineral Resources.

“It is important to emphasise … that neither Mr Macdonald or Mr Edward Obeid disputed that they were fully aware … of the scope and import of the ministerial code of conduct.”

Sydney Morning Herald investigative journalist Kate McClymont, who has reported extensively on the Obeid case, told Jim Wilson the sentencing is in line with what was expected.

“The Obeids get to keep the $30 million.

“I think this is what is one of the most egregious things about the whole sorry saga.”

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Image: Nine News (archival)

Jim Wilson
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