More court challenges to ICAC findings

Nanjing Night Net

Craig Ransley arrives at the ICAC inquiry.A series of court challenges toIndependent Commission Against Corruption findingswill ride on the coat-tails of a legal bid by mining mogul Travers Duncan and his associates to have findings against them overturned.

Mr Duncan and his former business associates John McGuigan, John Atkinsonand Richard Poole are seeking to have findings that they acted corruptly by concealing the involvement of the Obeid family in a coal tenement struck down by the Court of Appeal.

A second group of businessmen, formerDoyles Creek Mining directors CraigRansley, Mike Chester and Andrew Poole,are challenging findings made against them in a separate ICAC inquiry.

The Supreme Court heard on Monday that the matters are “likely to be interrelated” and the latter should be adjourned until the former is heard.

The Baird government rushed a bill through state Parliament lastWednesdayto validate past corruption findings,which were jeopardised by a High Court ruling on theICAC’s powers.

But the bill, which becamelaw on the same day,does not preclude a challenge to corruption findings on grounds that are unrelated to the High Court ruling.

Lawyers for Mr Duncan and his associateshave alsoforeshadowed a constitutional challenge to the validationlawas part of their case.The outcome of this challenge will be watched closely by lawyers for the former Doyles Creek directors.

The ICAC found former mining minister Ian Macdonald acted corruptly by awarding an exploration licence to Doyles Creek Mining, which was then chaired by Mr Macdonald’sfriend andformer union boss John Maitland.

Mr Ransley, Mr Poole and Mr Chester were found to have acted corruptly by making or agreeing to Mr Maitland making “false or misleading” statements to the Department of Primary Industries about the proposed mine.

The Court of Appeal will hear the Duncan matter in mid-June.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.