Obeid family assets being watched


Obeid family assets being watched
Updated: 16:30, Tuesday February 5, 2013
Obeid family assets being watched

The NSW Crime Commission, which has the power to freeze proceeds of crime, is keeping a close eye on the Obeid saga unfolding before the ICAC, Premier Barry O’Farrell says.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is investigating claims former NSW mines minister Ian Macdonald rigged a 2008 tender process for coal exploration licences to favour Labor kingmaker Eddie Obeid.

The inquiry has heard the Obeid family stood to make tens of millions of dollars in the process.

Greens MP John Kaye on Tuesday called on Mr O’Farrell to request a freeze order from the crime commission, which has the power to seize assets and can compel witnesses to give evidence.

Mr O’Farrell later told reporters the crime commission is monitoring the ICAC proceedings and is in ‘close contact’ with the ICAC itself.

But he said he wouldn’t be personally contacting the crime commission about the matter.

‘I don’t intend to interfere with the NSW Crime Commission’s operations any more than I intend to interfere with the operations and the hearings of ICAC,’ the premier said.

He added that there are no powers available to government to suspend a mining exploration licence.

Any other action would have to wait until the conclusion of the ICAC hearings, he said.

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