Australian State Corruption Watchdog Says Investigating NSW Premier | World news


SYDNEY (Reuters) – The New South Wales corruption watchdog said on Friday it was investigating whether State Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian was involved in conduct that “constituted or involved a breach of public trust “.

The New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) said in a statement posted on its website that it would hold further public hearings in connection with its ongoing investigation, Operation Keppel, on October 18.

This investigation has already learned that Berejiklian has a secret relationship with a state lawmaker who is at the center of his corruption investigation.

A spokesperson for Berejiklian, who previously denied any wrongdoing, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Berejiklian was due to make a public statement later on Friday.

The ICAC statement said the scope of the commission’s investigation broadened to include “whether, between 2012 and 2018, MP Hon Gladys Berejiklian behaved in any way that constituted or implied a breach of the trust of the public service by performing public office in circumstances where she was in a position of conflict between her public office and her private interest as a person who had a personal relationship with then-NSW MP Daryl Maguire “.

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The potential violation involved grant funding pledged to community organizations in the Maguire electorate of Wagga Wagga.

Maguire said during an investigation last year that he received envelopes full of thousands of dollars in cash at his office in parliament as part of a scheme that allows Chinese nationals to fraudulently acquire visas.

(Reporting by Kirsty Needham; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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