ON THE eve of his appearance before a corruption inquiry, the Strathfield real estate agent Joseph Georges, pictured, a close associate of the controversial Obeid family, is being investigated by police after an alleged altercation on Friday morning.
Shortly before 7am a former Strathfield councillor, Danny Lim, was placing flyers containing newspaper articles about Mr Georges and the family of the former upper house MP Eddie Obeid in letter boxes in the Strathfield area when he ran into Mr Georges and his father, Sam.
According to Mr Lim’s police statement, Joseph Georges was driving by when he saw Mr Lim distributing flyers in Newton Street, Strathfield. He approached Mr Lim, and in a scuffle over the flyers Mr Lim was pushed over, according to the statement.
The flyers contained articles detailing Mr Georges’s association with the Obeid family.
The Herald has previously reported that Mr Georges is alleged to be acting as a frontman for the Obeids in the Elizabeth Bay marina. Mr Georges, who works with his father at Georges Ellis real estate agency, owns 50 per cent of the marina after a sale that was organised by Mr Obeid’s son Moses.
Another article on Mr Lim’s flyer referred to Mr Georges’s shareholding in a company called Australian Water Holdings. Mr Georges has previously declined to say whether his investment in Australian Water was on behalf of the Obeids. ”I will keep you guessing,” he told the Herald last year.
A police spokesman said that no arrests have been made but that ”police investigations are continuing”.
Mr Georges will be called to the witness box at the Independent Commission Against Corruption when it resumes an inquiry on Monday.
At the end of last year another Obeid frontman, Andrew Kaidbay, admitted to the inquiry he had lied to the watchdog at an earlier private hearing.
Mr Kaidbay, who was used by the Obeid family to hide their interest in a controversial coal tender, told the private hearing that he had received $22,000 in cash from Joseph Georges to pay the legal fees of another key witness, the former investment banker Gardner Brook.
Mr Kaidbay later claimed that it was Paul Obeid, another of Eddie Obeid’s five sons, who had given him the money.
Mr Kaidbay also said that Paul Obeid had provided him with a ”chronology” of events to refresh Mr Brook’s memory when he gave evidence to the ICAC. He denied the chronology had been provided to Mr Brook by the Obeids so that he could ”learn a story”.
The commission has recalled Mr Kaidbay to give further evidence later next week.
The corruption inquiry, labelled one of the most significant in the state’s history, is examining whether the Obeid family received inside information from Ian Macdonald, then resources minister, which allowed them to make millions of dollars by investing in companies which won lucrative coal exploration licences in the Bylong and Hunter valleys.
In his flyer Mr Lim encourages people to attend the ICAC hearing. ”Open to public. Anyone can attend,” the flyer says.
Joseph Georges declined to comment.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.