Advertisement

Ex-ALP Boss 'Wanted To Do The Right Thing' After Withholding Information From ICAC

It’s all about “doing the right thing". 

That was fallen NSW Labor Party boss Kaila Murnain’s mantra on Thursday back in the hot seat at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

But not everyone was buying it.

Within an hour, the now suspended NSW Labor Party boss was insisting she’d “freely” come back to ICAC investigators, after holding back on what she knew about dodgy donations during her first compulsory examination in July this year.

“I wanted to come forward and do the right thing, it wasn’t an easy thing,” she insisted.

Kaila Murnain leaves The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) public inquiry into allegations concerning political donations. Photo: AAP

Counsel Assisting Scott Robertson offered another explanation.

“Were you concerned these matters would come out in the public inquiry and you were seeking to get ahead of that?” he asked.

“No," she replied.

“You wanted to set the record straight?” he queried.

“I wanted to give you as much information as I could remember about what had happened, I wanted to come in and do the right thing even, it wasn’t easy,” she repeated.

ICAC Chief Commissioner Peter Hall QC chimed in.

“The question may be asked, why you didn’t do the right thing in the first of the two compulsory examinations?” he asked.

READ MORE: Former Labor MP Labelled A 'Sham' At Corruption Inquiry

READ MORE: Chinese Billionaire Was Just 'Delivery Boy' For $100,000 Donation, ICAC Told

“I’d never, I’d never been through…” Murnain said, as she broke down in tears, before continuing, " a process like this before and afterwards ... I couldn’t sit there and not say something and that’s why I came back."

“I was incredibly nervous, I had not ever been to court, let alone a Commission before. I felt the need to come back and do the right thing," she said.

Counsel Assisting Scott Robertson repeatedly questioned her about not doing the right thing. .

“You are accepting you didn’t do the right thing on the first occasion?” Robertson asked.

“I was trying my best to answer your questions in what was very intimidating circumstances,” she said.

Twice more, Robertson asked whether that meant Murnain was accepting she didn’t do the right thing on the first occasion, to which she quietly relented.

Contact the author adonaldson@networkten.com.au