Iemma, Rees and Keneally set to front witness box

AN INQUIRY into allegations former NSW Labor ministers accepted gifts from mining companies in exchange for the granting of coal exploration licences has begun in Sydney.

A cast of high-profile politicians including former NSW premiers Morris Iemma, Nathan Rees and Kristina Keneally are set to front the witness box during the inquiry.

The first hearing, headed by the state's corruption watchdog, is expected to run for at least a week and will focus on

Operation Indus, an investigation into allegations former treasurer Eric Roozendaal accepted a discounted luxury car from colleague Eddie Obeid in exchange for political favours.

The inquiry heard Mr Obeid told his car-dealer son Moses, a car, which was bought for $10,000 less its market value, was to be bought for Mr Roozendaal because he had done "favours" for the family.

No paperwork was signed.

Counsel assisting the inquiry Geoffrey Watson said the methods used in the transaction were consistent with "a deliberate attempt to disguise aspects of the deal".

The inquiry continues.

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