Sidoti accused of inventing evidence | Liverpool City Champion
NSW MP John Sidoti has been accused of inventing evidence and failing to answer questions in a fiery end to his time on the witness stand during a corruption investigation.
The Drummoyne MP was excused Tuesday after testifying for five days at a hearing by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption, which is examining corruption allegations against him.
He told the hearing that he was recently reminded of details of a meeting in which he was questioned during the investigation, after meeting with an associate “a few weeks ago”.
âI was promising the dog and he was driving by and he saw me and he stopped. He went out and said he saw the answers I gave, that I didn’t remember the meeting that had taken place, “said Mr. Sidoti.
âAnd he basically said, ‘Are you stupid?’ or something, “Have you lost your memory?” You set up the meeting for us. And then I said to him, “I was there? I just don’t remember” and he said “You were there, you stayed in your own office and you didn’t come in”. “
He said the meeting with Glen Haron, who was vice president of the Five Dock chamber of commerce, took place in the “first or second week of the investigation.”
However, Mr Sidoti did not begin testifying until last Tuesday, during the fourth week of the public inquiry.
“It just cannot be possible that Mr. Haron, having heard your testimony in the first two weeks, told you with some disbelief that you did not attend the meeting?” the investigating lawyer, said Rob Ranken.
“I suggest that you made up this proof of this conversation with Mr. Haron and it is false proof.”
“No, absolutely not. That is not correct at all,” Mr Sidoti replied.
Commissioner Peter Hall QC later accused Mr Sidoti of ‘obscuring’ when asked about how he handled conflicts of interest when making representations to local councilors on behalf of voters .
âAre you saying you were right to assume that everyone was aware of your family’s property interests in the Five Dock area and not make it explicit when you were making representations (to them)? ” Asked Mr. Ranken.
Mr Sidoti replied that “everyone knew”, but Mr Ranken insisted that he answer the question.
“That’s what you do. You assume and you are entitled,” Mr Sidoti replied dryly. “I know you don’t like my answer but that won’t change my answer.”
Commissioner Hall told Mr Sidoti that this was a “simple question”.
“You … have to cooperate with the commission to answer the question of whether you like it or not,” he said.
Mr Sidoti, who joined the bench before the ICAC investigation, denies any wrongdoing.
The investigation is investigating allegations that he failed to disclose some of his financial interests and abused his position as an MP.
He is accused of pressuring Canada Bay councilors in western Sydney to vote for town planning changes that would allow more development on the Five Dock sites owned by his family and friends .
Australian Associated Press