Man Claims Former MP Told Him To Lie To Electoral Commission
“Straw donor” Steve Tong today claimed then Labor MP Ernest Wong directed him to keep telling lies to the Electoral Commission over illegal donations.
And he says he did so during a meeting in Wong’s State Parliament Office in September 2018.
Summonsed to talks with the MP who he barely knew, Tong alleged Wong first took his mobile phone off him to stop him recording their discussions.
But Tong today told the ICAC he made notes afterwards, because “in the future, it might be needed.”
“He asked me has anyone from the Electoral Office been calling you,” Tong claims.
“I said no.
“He said; ‘quite well maybe this matter is now over’.
“I said to him, I don’t wish to be involved in any of YOUR matter.
“I thought the whole matter was caused by Ernest Wong.”
The corruption watchdog is investigating the true source of a $100,000 cash donation to the NSW ALP in 2015. Tong said he was angry to discover his name had been used as a “straw” or fake donor on a $5,000 parcel of the cash drop.
“They used my name to make a donation and I only knew about it when I received the invoice from the Labor Party,” Tong testified today.
“After airing my grievance to him (Ernest Wong) he said; ‘That’s fine, if anything happens in the future you just stick to the thing you had said earlier’.”
ICAC Chief Commissioner Peter Hall QC then asked; “How did you feel about that, receiving that direction from Mr Wong?”
“He asked me to continue to say what Dr Laio had asked me to say and of course with Dr Laio it was very clear, he was telling me not to tell the truth, to continue with the line of telling lies.”
The ICAC Chief Commissioner Peter Hall QC pressed Tong further on what Ernest Wong was telling him.
“Do you think you took his meaning to be clear?” he asked.
“I was very clear his (Wong’s) intention was for me to continue with the lies.”