Gladys Berejiklian refuses to answer questions as she leaves her home toting a $5,500 Prada bag as ICAC prepares to hand down ‘secret lovers’ corruption report
- Former NSW premier maintains silence on Thursday
- ICAC due to hand down report into her at 9am
Gladys Berejiklian refused to answer questions on Thursday morning as the commission that exposed her secret love life at the peak of her popularity prepares to deliver its report into the former NSW premier’s relationship with an ex-MP.
She left her home in a car clutching a $5,500 Prada bag on a historic day for her and Australian politics.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on Thursday morning will table the long-awaited report in the NSW parliament, more than 600 days after public hearings ended.
The report is expected to be published online minutes later.
ICAC had investigated whether Ms Berejiklian breached public trust by failing to disclose her long-time personal relationship with then-MP Daryl Maguire while treasurer and premier.
That clandestine relationship became publicly known 990 days ago, when Ms Berejiklian admitted it in October 2020 in an ICAC hearing.
Former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) refused to answer questions on Thursday morning
Ms Berejiklian (pictured right) and her barrister boyfriend Arthur Moses (left) were pictured hand-in-hand taking an early morning stroll in activewear last weekend
The commission’s inquiry began as a probe into possible corrupt conduct by Mr Maguire but expanded to Ms Berejiklian after she was compelled to reveal the relationship in public hearings in 2020.
She denied wrongdoing and retained office, only to step down when ICAC in late-2021 began investigating her conduct.
Even after the relationship was exposed, Ms Berejiklian had widespread public support, with net approval ratings of more than 35 per cent.
After quitting office in October 2021, she turned down an opportunity to run for federal parliament and moved into the private sector as an Optus executive.
Delays in the release of the ICAC report into Ms Berejiklian and Ms Maguire have been criticised.
Her date with ICAC destiny seemed far from Ms Berejiklian’s mind as she was pictured touching up her makeup at a cafe table last Saturday
The couple wore matching dark caps and designer sunglasses. Mr Moses is pictured left and Ms Berejiklian is pictured right
The commission has said delays were caused by complex legal issues and the vast volume of submissions it had to scrutinise.
It repeatedly asked for extensions and more funding to complete its investigations.
The NSW Labor government on Wednesday backed a parliamentary committee’s call for ICAC to set deadlines for future investigations and measure its performance against them.
‘(The changes) will increase transparency and public accountability of the ICAC’s reporting functions without imposing inflexible restrictions on the ICAC,’ the government said.
ICAC is investigating whether ex-premier Gladys Berejiklian…
1. Engaged in conduct between 2012 and 2018 that was ‘liable to allow or encourage the occurrence of corrupt conduct’ by former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire, with whom she was in a close personal relationship between 2015 and 2018
2. Exercised her official functions dishonestly or partially by refusing to exercise her duty to report any reasonable suspicions about Mr Maguire to the ICAC
3. Exercised any of her official functions partially in connection with two multimillion-dollar grants in Mr Maguire’s electorate, to the Australian Clay Target Association Inc and the Riverina Conservatorium of Music.
While seated at a cafe on Sydney’s leafy north shore, Mr Moses at one point reached over the couple’s food as Ms Berejiklian checked her phone
Who is Daryl Maguire and what was his relationship with former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian?
Daryl Maguire, 64, is a former Liberal MP who represented Wagga Wagga in the NSW Parliament from 1999 to 2018.
In July 2018, he was drawn into the Operation Dasha inquiry by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) regarding possible corruption involving Canterbury Council through his association with former councillor Michael Hawatt.
Gladys Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire (behind) who she was in a secret relationship with for years
Mr Maguire resigned from the Liberal Party and from his official roles, but initially refusing to resign from parliament.
But after pressure from many quarters, including then premier Gladys Berejiklian, he relented and resign on August 3.
Appearing before ICAC inquiry in October 2020, Ms Berejiklian agreed she had been in a ‘close personal relationship’ with Mr Maguire from 2015 until August 2020.
She survived that revelation, but a year later resigned as premier and as an MP when she herself came under ICAC’s spotlight.
On Friday, October 29, 2021, Ms Berejiklian had this to say about Mr Maguire: ‘I regarded him a part of my love circle, part of people that I strongly cared for, but I wouldn’t have put him in the same category as my parents or my sisters.
‘I had very strong feelings for him . . . But I didn’t feel the relationship was at a stage where I would introduce him necessarily to my parents or my sisters or need to declare it, but I don’t want to underscore what I felt.’