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Obeid calls inquiry a 'political witch-hunt' against Labor

EDDIE Obeid has labelled a corruption inquiry into his dealings with former NSW resources minister Ian Macdonald as a "political witch-hunt" designed to damage the Labor Party.

Speaking to reporters outside his Sydney home on Thursday, the former Labor powerbroker and government minister declared he was prepared to fight the allegations in "every court of the land".

His comments came after the Independent Commission Against Corruption found Mr Obeid and his son Moses should be referred to the DPP for entering into an agreement with Mr Macdonald over the awarding of the Mount Penny coal exploration licence.

Following the release of the ICAC report on Wednesday, Opposition Leader John Robertson said he was "disgusted" by the findings.

Mr Obeid said he refused to have corruption claims hanging over his head when he had given 20 years of service to the NSW Parliament.

He said the same men who had worn the carpet in his office when they wanted his support had now turned against him to protect their own interests.

"They are not true Labor leaders...they are cowards who do not stick up for the truth and the rights of an individual," Mr Obeid said

"I am a very respected person by all those who dealt with me and I am ashamed of some of my colleagues in the Labor Party who have become like a lynching mob just to protect themselves...hoping they can look clean in all of this.

"There is nothing in this inquiry that finds a smoking gun against anyone...now it is up to the courts."

Mr Macdonald, who was also found to be corrupt in accepting the services of a prostitute as a reward for arranging a meeting between Country Energy and energy executives, has also maintained his innocence.

Topics:  eddie obeid ian macdonald icac


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