As the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigation continues into former Premier Gladys Berejiklian, shocking new evidence has been revealed.
Berejiklain’s former chief of staff Sarah Cruickshank has told ICAC that Berejiklian “probably” lied about what has been described by The Daily Telegraph as a “close personal relationship” between Berejikliam and former MP Daryl Maguire. Cruickshank shared with ICAC that she was told by Berejiklian that the relationship with Maguire had ended prior to Berejiklian becoming the Premier.
Cruickshank shared that she first learned of the relationship between Berejiklian and Maguire on the evening Maguire was forced to resign after being entangled in a different corruption inquiry, on July 13, 2018.
Cruickshank discovered this relationship when then-Premier Berejiklian was emotionally distressed when discussing the relationship, which she insisted was a “historical” relationship that ended “before she became Premier”.
“She had said it was historic – before she was Premier, before I was her Chief of Staff,” Ms Cruickshank said.
“She was quite clear that it was before she became Premier.”
Cruickshank verified that there was no suggestion at that time in 2018, that the relationship was still underway. Cruickshank recalled conversations with Berejiklian in which Cruickshank advised Berejiklian to cut ties with Maguire.
“She said he texts me sometimes and we said don’t have anything to do with him,” Ms Cruickshank said.
When Cruickshank was asked by the Commissioner, Ruth McColl, whether she believes Berejiklian “lied” about the relationship’s end date, saying it ended before she assumed office in 2017. Cruickshank admitted that Berejiklian “probably” did lie, as Berejiklian and Maguire’s relationship only actually ended in 2020.
Documents presented to ICAC revealed that Berejiklian was told about information regarding Maguire was being passed from ministerial staffers to the corruption watchdog. At this time, Berejiklian was still in a “close personal relationship” with Maguire.
At least once, this information was formally passed onto ICAC.
The ICAC investigation has now entered its third week of public hearings. Berejiklian’s appearance has been delayed by one day so far.