Former Labor politician Joe Tripodi turned his phone off to stop investigators tracking him, the Independent Commission Against Corruption heard yesterday.
An ICAC inquiry investigating allegations the Obeid family were secret stakeholders in Australian Water Holdings today heard Tripodi switched his phone off while making a trip to Wellington to meet former NSW planning minister Tony Kelly, The Australian reported.
Counsel assisting the ICAC, Geoffrey Watson SC, told the ICAC Tripodi switched his phone off at 8.04am before he met Kelly in Wellington and didn’t turn it back on until he was in the Blue Mountains at 6.25pm.
Watson told the inquiry Tripodi made the trip to formulate a story around a doctored cabinet minute which could have seen AWH land a billion dollar deal with the then state government.
Giving evidence at the inquiry yesterday Kelly said he had discussions with Tripodi about AWH and a cabinet minute Kelly had ordered to be redrafted.
Tripodi denied the phone allegations and said his mobile was on the back seat of his car. He also said his trip to Wellington was to not only meet Kelly but to investigate a possible hay export deal as well which he admitted wasn’t feasible at $12 a bale.
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