Sydney, Australia. Australians were shocked to find corruption running rampant inside their own government as a government minister does not land a hefty bribe, but does land himself a decade in prison, in the land down under.
Australian Labor minister Ian Macdonald has been sentenced to 10 years’ jail over a decision to grant a mining licence to an Australian company run by former union boss John Maitland, who will spend at least four years behind bars himself for participation in the criminal enterprise.
During sentencing, Justice Adamson described Macdonald as “devious” and said he had betrayed the people of Australia.“The coal resources of New South Wales, which should have been used for the benefit of the whole society, were squandered by the criminal conduct of the very person who was trusted to safeguard them,” she said.
Mcdonald’s decision to grant the licence was made in 2008, when he was the NSW minister for Primary Industries and Mineral Resources in the Iemma Labor government. Ian Macdonald was given a non-parole period of seven years, while John Maitland was sentenced to six years in prison, and will not be eligible for parole until 2021.
Macdonald clasped his hands and folded his arms at times during the three-hour sentencing hearing in Sydney on Friday, and appeared composed when Justice Christine Adamson eventually announced his punishment. The Justice said Macdonald had a misplaced sense of entitlement and that both men did not have good prospects of rehabilitation and had shown no remorse for their crimes.
In the course of the trial, Macdonald’s lawyers argued he granted the Hunter Valley mining licence to Maitland’s company, Doyles Creek Mining, because of the merits of the proposal, not for any bribes or other reasons. Prosecutors were able to convince the jury during the trial, that the decision by Macdonald to give the licence to Maitland lost the state tens of millions of dollars at a time of “budget constraints”.