Politics

Everyone Is Laughing At A Disgraced MP’s Ridiculous Excuse For ‘Losing’ All His Phones

The ICAC investigation heard that Daryl Maguire's potentially incriminating phones (and iPad) were destroyed by a tractor. Oops!

ICAC hears Daryl Maguire's phones and iPad were destroyed in tractor accident

The current ICAC investigation into how deep former NSW MP Daryl Maguire’s corruption went has unearthed its fair share of revelations. Among the most eyebrow-raising was the news that Maguire’s potentially incriminating phones and iPad were destroyed in a ‘tractor accident’. Happens to the best of us.

For those who haven’t been following the minutiae of NSW’s current ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) investigation, this one centres on Maguire, who resigned as Wagga Wagga MP in 2018 over allegations he had helped assist Chinese developers in exchange for a kickback. Now, ICAC is investigating further into Maguire’s potential misuse of his MP position for his own financial benefit, which included a cash-for-visas scheme.

Maguire is facing the ICAC today where he’s already, at time of publishing, admitted his MP office was monetised for his own personal business, G8Way International. You can follow along on the Guardian‘s live-blog.

But the ‘tractor’ story came on Tuesday, as ICAC heard from Maguire’s business partner Maggie Wang that in 2018 he had previously recommended she delete messages. And he insinuated he had done similarly, mentioning an “unfortunate accident where my phones and iPad have been run over by a tractor”. It was after this that Wang realised she too should be deleting messages, she told ICAC.

Of course, everyone following along with the scandal was soon tweeting out jokes about the tractor accidentally destroying incriminating messages across at least three separate devices. Oops!

For many, it was the iPad that really stuck out: who takes one on a tractor ride?

To be fair, it’s such a ludicrous story that it’s almost stranger than fiction. It’s entirely possible Maguire’s iPad and multiple phones were destroyed in a tractor accident. But still, what a line.

As Tony Martin points out, we need a dramatic reenactment of the device destruction. May we suggest it appear in the inevitable ABC mini-series this ICAC inspires in 5-10 years? And that Asher Keddie plays an overworked ICAC official desperate to cut to the core of corruption?

Follow along with ICAC revelations on The Guardian, and be sure to secure your devices before your next tractor ride.

Later today, it’s expected that NSW state premier Gladys Berejiklian will face two no-confidence motions in parliament over her previously secret 5-year relationship with Maguire, which she revealed on Monday. It’s unclear whether the relationship impacted her job, though her meeting with two convicted criminals in Wagga Wagga over gambling policies has come under close scrutiny.

Currently, Berejiklian has said she will not resign, leading the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party to say they will refuse to support government legislation in the meantime — essentially freezing parliament until either Berejiklian is cleared of wrong-doing, or leaves parliament.

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