The former Labor minister was granted bail. Picture: Toby Zerna
The former Labor minister was granted bail. Picture: Toby Zerna

Former MP walks free after quashed conviction

Ian Macdonald's wife was "overwhelmed" and visibly emotional after the former NSW minister had his conviction for misconduct in public office quashed and was granted bail.

The former Labor politician has been in custody since 2017 when he was jailed for 10 years, with a minimum of seven, after being found guilty of two counts of wilful misconduct in public office.

But five Court of Criminal Appeal judges quashed the 69-year-old's conviction today and ordered a new trial.

 

They did the same for former union boss John Maitland, who was jailed for six years with four years non-parole on two charges of being an accessory to the alleged misconduct.

Macdonald was alleged to have favoured the interest of Doyles Creek Mining, chaired by Maitland, over the interests of the state when he granted a Hunter Valley coal exploration licence in 2008 without a competitive tender.

His lawyer, Phillip Boulton SC, wasted no time applying for bail in the NSW Supreme Court and it was granted by Justice Natalie Adams, prompting Macdonald's wife to cry and embrace a supporter.

Outside court Anita Gylseth told reporters she was "overwhelmed" and looked forward to seeing her husband.

Anita Gylseth, wife of former NSW minister Ian Macdonald said she was “overwhelmed” by the decision. Picture: AAP Image/Jeremy Piper
Anita Gylseth, wife of former NSW minister Ian Macdonald said she was “overwhelmed” by the decision. Picture: AAP Image/Jeremy Piper

Under his bail, he'll have to reside in the Blue Mountains, report to police once a week, not approach any points of international departure or contact prosecution witnesses except through his lawyer.

Maitland, now 72, who was also granted bail, will reside in Sydney's eastern suburbs but otherwise faces similar conditions.

Their matters will next be in court on Friday.


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