Gladys Berejiklian’s ex-lover Daryl Maguire has sensationally admitted speaking in ‘code words’ to the NSW Premier and ‘keeping information from her’ about his business dealings.
Former Wagga Wagga MP Maguire on Friday was grilled at the ICAC about a phone call to his secret flame where he made a passing reference to his ‘little friend with the polished head’.
Maguire admitted he was using that phrase to speak of his property developer mate Joe Alha, who he had several glasses of red wine with before ‘dropping in’ to see Berejiklian on November 15, 2017.
Counsel assisting ICAC Scott Robertson asked: ‘Why are you using code in that call, in the sense of not referring to Joe, or Mr Alha?’
‘I don’t know – I don’t recall,’ Maguire said.
‘Why did you say you were meeting your friend with a polished head but you “don’t need to know what for?”‘
Maguire admitted the reason was to ‘keep information from her’ and to only tell the Premier information ‘on a need to know basis’.
Pressed why he would do that, Maguire said: ‘I don’t want to burden her with any details she didn’t need to know.’
Robertson: ‘You were concerned some of what you were doing could reflect badly on her?’
‘It could,’ Maguire admitted.
Maguire admitted earlier on Friday that Berejiklian ‘didn’t want to know’ about some of his dealings and that there was a ‘line’ in what information he would tell the Premier – claiming he only shared ‘general information’ with her.
Daryl Maguire arrives at the ICAC on Friday and attempts to close the elevator door on the media
‘My little polished head friend’: Daryl Maguire referred to property developer Joe Alha by a codename while speaking to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian
Gladys Berejiklian’s lawyer Arthur Moses SC erupted after the ICAC commissioner apologised for the accidental publication of a transcript of a private hearing that ‘touched upon’ Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire’s relationship
His remarks came as Berejiklian”s lawyer erupted over ICAC accidentally publishing a private transcript about their relationship online.
Furious scenes broke out at the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Friday morning with Commissioner Ruth McColl beginning the hearing by confirming the ICAC wrongly published a transcript of a private hearing about Maguire and Berejiklian’s secret relationship.
The transcript was online for about half an hour from 4.45pm and was viewed by members of the media.
‘On behalf of the Commission, I would like to apologise for that inadvertent uploading,’ Ms McColl said. The transcript is suppressed and an investigation will be launched into how it the mistake came about.
But Berejiklian’s lawyer Arthur Moses SC was ropeable.
Mr Moses, the former president of the NSW Bar Association, said an ‘error made by this commission’ had resulted in a ‘violation’ of his client’s ‘privacy and security’.
The ICAC then moved forward with hearing evidence from Maguire – who made a series of admissions.
Under cross-examination, Maguire admitted he tried to ‘shield’ Berejiklian from information that could ’cause her difficulties’ in private conversations.
The line of questioning related to how he hoped to make $1.5 million from a land deal at Badgerys Creek. He had raised a planning issue about it with the Premier.
The ICAC listened to a call with Berejiklian where Maguire tells her ‘the good news is William tells me we’ve done our deal.
‘So hopefully that’s about half of all that that’s gone now.’
Berejiklian replied: ‘That’s good. I don’t need to know about that bit’.
‘No you don’t, you do not,’ Maguire replied.
Counsel assisting ICAC Scott Robertson asked if he had told Berejiklian who ‘William’ was. Maguire said he couldn’t recall.
Maguire admitted he was ‘at least concerned’ questions might be raised at that point about the propriety of his involvement in a Badgerys Creek land sale.
Mr Robertson asked: ‘Do you agreed … that at least in part you sought to shield some information from Ms Berejiklian?
‘Yes,’ Maguire said.
The former MP said he shared information ‘in general terms’ with the Premier what he was up to and doing.
Robertson: ‘She was to some extent a sounding board to discuss the things you were involved in general terms at least?’
Robertson: ‘Was it also the case, as you understood it, from either this call or other communication with Ms Berejiklian there was particular bits of information that she didn’t want to know about your activities?’
Maguire: ‘Well, yes’.
Later Mr Robertson said: ‘There was a point you stopped giving the details because you were concerned that might cause her to have to take steps in relation to that matter?’
Maguire: ‘Well, I thought it would cause her difficulties. So, I limited the information that I gave her, yes.’
It comes as Maguire admitted on Thursday to being in an ‘on again, off again’ relationship with Berejiklian.
Earlier on Thursday, a late night call between the premier (pictured on Thursday) and her former boyfriend revealed they were planning a future together
Maguire said their relationship began sometime about ‘2015, 2016’ and ended in ‘August, September (of this year) … I can’t be clear’.
He confessed to discussing his ‘problems in life’ with Berejiklian, 50, including the prospect of a future spent together.
The inquiry has been shown a transcript of call where the couple appeared to be doing just that.
Mr Maguire was full of complaints as he spoke to the premier just before bedtime at 9.23pm on February 14, 2018.
Hokis… I need you to process in your head what you want to do
Gladys Berejiklian in a bedtime call to Daryl Maguire
‘I’m working bloody hard because (indecipherable) Garden has fallen through,’ he fumed, according to a document before the inquiry.
The call came months before Ms Berejiklian sacked Mr Maguire following a scandal over him trying to broker property deals, including for Chinese developer Country Garden.
In an apparent reference to him needing ‘somewhere to go’ after state politics, Mr Maguire told the premier ‘I can’t not go to nothing’.
He added there was ‘no future’ for him in government.
The premier said: ‘Hokis … I need you to process in your head what you want to do right and I also need to come to a realisation that it’s not got anything to do with me (…).’
Mr Maguire said: ‘Correct, correct … Absolutely nothing.’
Ms Berejiklian said: ‘But that’s a bigger picture issue I need to figure out.
Mr Maguire replied: ‘I just got to sort out you know with these kids and stuff what’s going to happen that’s all I’m worried about.’
The premier said she was trying to give Mr Maguire ‘space’, adding she was trying to ‘support you, not stress you’.
‘I’m just trying to process things in my own head that’s all. You’ve got think about your stuff and I’ve got to think about my stuff that’s all,’ she said.
Daryl Maguire admitted he had an ‘on again, off again’ love affair with Ms Berejiklian which began sometime about ‘2015, 2016’ and ended in ‘August, September (of this year) … I can’t be clear’
Maguire said: ‘Hmm well I am working on that Gladys. I’m going to bed see ya later.’
ICAC on Thursday attempted to pin down what the Liberal leader knew about Mr Maguire’s financial dealings, including a sale of land at Badgerys Creek, near the site of Sydney’s under-construction second airport.
The inquiry has heard then-Wagga Wagga MP Mr Maguire hoped to make up to $1.5million in the sale of land – which was owned by racing heiress Louise Waterhouse.
He could therefore clear his debts before retiring from Parliament and embarking on a new life, possibly with the premier.
In sensational evidence, Mr Maguire this week admitted ‘monetising’ his parliamentary position as an MP, parliamentary secretary and chair of the ‘friends of the Asia-Pacific’ committee.
He confessed to running a cash-for-visa scheme from his office and being a secret director of a company, G8way International. G8way ‘ultimately’ sought to sell access to the highest levels of government.
On Monday, the premier admitted being in a five-year ‘close personal relationship’ with Mr Maguire – and candidly denied wrongdoing. ‘I stuffed up in my personal life,’ she said
An exhibit tendered before ICAC appeared to show how Mr Maguire took Ms Berejiklian for a feed at a pub in Wagga Wagga and to a private dinner party with G8way International boss Phil Elliott and his partner Karen Barbey.
Ms Barbey was questioned by investigators at Wagga Wagga Police Station on July 9, 2019.
She told them Mr Maguire was a friend who she and her partner often enjoyed ‘quite a bit’ of red wine with.
Ms Barbey said she met the premier on multiple occasions, including at Mr Maguire’s home.
‘We had dinner at night as well and I’m trying to think. And we went to Romano’s for dinner one night,’ she said in the interview.
She confirmed to officers that four people – herself, Mr Elliott, Mr Maguire and Ms Berejiklian – attended Romano’s, a pub in Wagga Wagga.
At Mr Maguire’s house for dinner, there were ‘some other security’ people in attendance, Ms Barbey said.
Former MP Daryl Maguire was cross-examined about his relationship with the NSW premier at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on Thursday afternoon. Ms Berejiklian is pictured on Wednesday
The trip had not been disclosed.
On Monday, the premier admitted being in a five-year ‘close personal relationship’ with Mr Maguire – and candidly denied wrongdoing.
‘I stuffed up in my personal life,’ she said.
At one point during Thursday’s hearing, Mr Maguire was asked if his relationship with the premier continued to the present day.
‘Are you still (in a relationship?)’ Mr Robertson asked.
‘Not after this I wouldn’t be,’ he said, drolly.
In a text message from 2014, before Ms Berejiklian became premier, Mr Maguire told her that he had brokered the sale of a motel for $5.8million and that he would get a $5,000 fee
In a text message from 2014, before Ms Berejiklian became premier, Mr Maguire told her that he had brokered the sale of a motel for $5.8million and that he would get a $5,000 fee.
‘Hawkiss good news. One of my contacts sold a motel for 5.8 million I had put her in contact so I should make 5k,’ he wrote.
Hawkiss, or hokis, is an Armenian term of affection meaning ‘my soul’ or ‘my beloved’.
Ms Berejiklian replied, saying: ‘Congrats!!! Great news!!! Woohoo’.
Maguire will continue to give evidence on Friday.
Gladys Berejiklian and Daryl Maguire: A timeline
MARCH 2015: Ms Berejiklian and Mr Maguire begin a ‘close personal relationship’ around the time of the NSW election. Ms Berejiklian was the transport minister while Mr Maguire, a parliamentary secretary, was separated from his ex-wife.
APRIL 2, 2015: Ms Berejiklian appointed NSW treasurer after the coalition is re-elected.
JANUARY 23, 2017: Ms Berejiklian becomes NSW premier, replacing Mike Baird. Mr Maguire is retained as a parliamentary secretary in her government.
AUGUST 2017: Ms Berejiklian tells Mr Maguire she would like him to quit parliament at the 2019 election so the pair can go public with their relationship. Ms Berejiklian says Mr Maguire also wanted that.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2017: Ms Berejiklian is heard in a telephone intercept saying she ‘didn’t need to know about that bit’ as Mr Maguire discusses his financial interests at Badgerys Creek Airport, and a land deal which would net him a large windfall. A day earlier, Mr Maguire texted Ms Berejiklian that ‘we clinched the land deal’.
NOVEMBER 2017: Louise Waterhouse, a western Sydney landowner, twice emailed Ms Berejiklian after being given her private address by Mr Maguire. She requested help with rezoning changes around Badgerys Creek Airport that would benefit a parcel of her land. Ms Berejiklian did not respond.
JULY 13, 2018: Mr Maguire appears before ICAC, with evidence heard that he sought payments to help broker deals for property developers.
AUGUST 3, 2018: Mr Maguire resigns from the Berejiklian government at the behest of Ms Berejiklian and other frontbenchers, with Ms Berejiklian saying she is ‘pleased’ and ‘relieved’ but privately she remains in contact with Mr Maguire.
MARCH 23, 2019: The coalition retains government in the 2019 NSW election.
SEPTEMBER 13, 2020: Ms Berejiklian cuts off all contact with Mr Maguire and agrees to support an ICAC inquiry into his business interests.
OCTOBER 12, 2020: Ms Berejiklian’s relationship with Mr Maguire is revealed at ICAC.