After seven years of persecution by ICAC NSW, Charif Kazal, a Sydney businessman was confirmed innocent. The ICAC inspector report announced the allegations against Mr. Kazal were not legitimate and therefore a public inquiry would not be launched.
Five times over the seven year inquiry into the charges against Mr. Kazal, the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Office told ICAC there was no reason to press charges against anyone related to that inquiry. The ICAC NSW Commissioner disregarded DPP advice and continued to push legal action against Mr. Kazal.
ICAC Commissioner Ipp apparently did not believe DPP’s specialist litigants and against the advice of his legal staff, he brought in the Deputy Director of the DPP. Not convinced by the information from the Deputy Director, Commissioner Ipp complained to the Director of the DPP, but was eventually forced to close the inquiry, because it had no merit.
The ICAC Watch Group, known as “The Watch Dog’s Watch Dog” says this case “offers an insight into the sinister activities occurring in a body that does not have the checks and balances of a typical government agency.”
It has been said that ICAC NSW has been allowed to operate outside of its own legislation. Even politicians who should have oversight over ICAC are afraid to speak out against the commission out of concern they may be targeted.
Politicians, including then-Premier, Mike Baird, did nothing to review the witch hunt against Mr. Kazal.
The ICAC Inspector’s report, written by a retired former Judge, called on the NSW Parliament for an Exoneration Protocol. This was a reiteration of the call by the previous ICAC Inspector.
There is no other way to clear wrongfully accused victims such as Mr Kazal.
The NSW Parliament knew this was a problem, because they rushed through overnight legislation that blocked innocent victims from taking their case to Court to clear their name. The parliament effectively legislated a coverup which prevents anyone previously accused of wrongdoing appealing to the Court even if they were falsely accused. This means innocent victims have their reputation tarnished for life, with no way to clear their name.
Equality under the law does not apply to those involved in an ICAC NSW inquiry, and the NSW parliament knows this.
It appears that the the only genuine evidence ICAC had was a statement confirming the media allegations against Mr Kazal were completely false. This evidence should have lead to the false allegations being quashed, bit it did not. The evidence was not released. In fact, observers say it was buried because the Commissioner was protecting himself from public embarrassment. He had already breached the ICAC Act by calling a Public Inquiry prematurely.
When Mr. Kazal’s lawyers received witness statements from ICAC, the signed sworn statement clearing Mr Kazal and his co-accused of the serious allegations was not included. The allegations had been published many times on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald and and many other TV and newspaper stories across the country. More than 30 stories were written about this case.
ICAC NSW only had one accusing witness against Mr. Kazal; his former business partner. Mr Kazal was already suing his former business partner in the Cayman Islands and UAE for fraud, embezzlement and to wind up their company links.
This vexatious witness was Mr. Kazal’s disgruntled former partner, and co-accused in the Inquiry.
During the business partners testimony, it was demonstrated that he had supplied false information to the Sydney Morning Herald, which the newspaper had published. It was reported that Special Counsel Assisting the ICAC, Mr Robert Newlinds SC was so stunned by the testimony of their star witness, he told him to stop lying and tell the truth.
Lawyers for that witness claimed he was taking drugs without a prescription at the time, but the ICAC still allowed his testimony as reliable. At the same time ICAC buried the evidence of Mr Kazal’s innocence, and maintained the baseless charge that the DPP said had no merit.
After being exonerated Mr. Kazal wrote to the newspapers and TV stations requesting a retraction, but not all did.
After fighting for more than seven years to expose this corruption in the New South Wales state government and in the media, Mr Kazal has called for a Royal Commission to investigate the alleged misuse of public office. Mr Kazal says he will keep fighting until real justice is dispensed in the State of NSW.
The ICAC Watch Group reports that the Kazal Family name was finally restored, after years of pain and suffering caused by false claims. In fact, the a formal apology to the Kazal family was recently published by The Sydney Morning Herald after years of false & defaming reports regarding the family. The ICAC Watch Group says it will continue to report any ICAC abuse on the citizens of NSW and wake up local politicians.
Charif Kazal’s attorneys formally complained about ICAC NSW to the UN High Commissioner For Human Rights abuses. The NSW government corruption watchdog has faced it’s own potential corruption issues. A story in The Australian on Human rights, the ICAC & Charif Kazal reports that the NSW Parliament was presented with a significant and legally binding report that the ICAC may have breached significant human rights laws in their treatment of Charif Kazal.