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NT ICAC failed to offer procedural justice to Darwin Turf Club board member in the $ 12 million tribunal investigation, the court finds

Written by Javed Iqbal

Northern Territory’s anti-corruption watchdog failed to offer procedural justice until they found conclusions about inappropriate behavior in a major corruption investigation, Northern Territory’s Supreme Court judge has found.

Former Darwin Turf Club board member Damien Moriarty last year, NT’s independent commissioner took corruption to courtafter the ICAC came to conclusions about dishonesty, unsatisfactory behavior and a breach of public confidence in his involvement in a controversial state subsidy.

The then Independent Commissioner for Corruption, Ken Fleming, made results against five people and Darwin Turf Club board over the handling of a $ 12 million government grant for the new facility at Darwin’s Fannie Bay Racecourse.

Today, Judge Judith Kelly found that Mr Moriarty was not given procedural fairness in relation to the conclusions reached against the Turf Club Board as a whole, as he was only given the opportunity to respond to the conclusions reached against him personally. .

“The defendant could not afford the plaintiff’s procedural justice by failing to ensure that he was informed of a motion to reach conclusions on unsatisfactory conduct and breach of public confidence in him in his capacity against him as a member of the board of Darwin Turf Club. and advise him to respond to such proposed results, “she said.

Two men standing outside the main entrance to the NT Supreme Court;  the one closest to the camera speaks.
Damien Moriarty has welcomed the decision.(ABC News: Nicholas Hynes)

Report removed from the ICAC website

The new independent anti-corruption commissioner Michael Riches said the entire Turf Club investigation report had now been removed from the ICAC website.

“I have done so so that the contents of the report can be reviewed in the light of the Supreme Court’s statements,” said Commissioner Riches.

Outside court, Mr Moriarty said he was relieved by the finding following a “cumbersome” trial.

Ken Fleming speaks to the press in Darwin
The ICAC study of the Darwin Turf Club was conducted by then-Commissioner Ken Fleming.(ABC News: Alan Dowler)

The government is considering court rulings

Justice Kelly found that the other board members were offered an opportunity to respond to the results against them, but ICAC had asked them not to discuss the matter with Mr Moriarty and he was not told that conclusions would be drawn. against the board.

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Javed Iqbal

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