Obeid could serve ICAC deception sentence from home

The son of disgraced ex-NSW Labor minister Eddie Obeid could spend a sentence for lying to the state's corruption watchdog in the community, his lawyers have argued.

Moses Obeid pleaded guilty in 2023 to giving false evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, which at the time was probing why he provided a former government minister with a car at a heavily discounted rate.

The 55-year-old is already serving a three-year sentence over a separate corruption scheme, alongside his father and former resources minister Ian Macdonald.

Obeid could serve his punishment for the ICAC breach while being monitored from home, potentially with an additional component of community service, lawyer Philip Strickland told a sentence hearing in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court on Monday.

His estranged wife, Nicole Obeid, appeared as a witness at the hearing, saying her husband's mental health had deteriorated over his past two-and-a-half years in custody.

At the time Obeid lied to ICAC, he was under immense additional stress including their daughter's prolonged cancer treatment and a legal battle with the City of Sydney, she told the court.

"Normally to me Moses is quite stoic,” Ms Obeid said. 

"Around this time I noticed he seemed quite withdrawn and quite depressed.”

Ms Obeid said her husband, from who she is now separated, was remorseful and “accepts the errors of his ways”, but initially told the court he had never explicitly told her so.

“He’s missed out on being with his children. He’s remorseful," she said. 

Ms Obeid later said there had been a conversation in which Obeid had said he was remorseful, but she could not remember the date of the conversation.

“If I gave you a date I would be absolutely lying," she said.

Mr Strickland told the court his client had taken responsibility for his actions outside of conversations with Ms Obeid.

“He has accepted responsibility for his offending and he has acknowledged the damage caused by the offences,” Mr Strickland told the court.

"He said the victims of the offences were the people of NSW.”

The couple separated in 2019, shortly before Obeid stood trial for the corruption allegations against him, his father and Mr Macdonald.

The trio were ultimately convicted and the younger Obeid handed a three-year sentence for conspiracy to commit an offence of misconduct in public office, for which he will be eligible for parole in October.

The corruption findings related to a coal exploration licence covering a property the Obeids owned in the Bylong Valley in the NSW Upper-Hunter region.

Obeid later pleaded guilty to providing false statements to ICAC in May and November 2012, about the provision of a Honda CR-V to then-minister Eric Roozendaal in 2007.

Mr Roozendaal was cleared of any wrongdoing, but Obeid was found to have acted corruptly and, along with several others, was referred for possible criminal charges.

Co-offender and former Obeid business partner Rocco Triulcio was in January placed on a 21-month intensive correction order, staying out of prison on strict supervision conditions.

A sentence date has been set for May 31.

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