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Former NSW Labor boss denies accepting Aldi bag full of cash from Huang Xiangmo, Icac told Former NSW Labor boss denies accepting Aldi bag full of cash from Huang Xiangmo, Icac told
(32 minutes later)
The former New South Wales Labor boss Jamie Clements has flatly denied he accepted a bag full of cash from the Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo, saying he instead met him to help set up a dinner with then opposition leader Bill Shorten, Icac has heard.The former New South Wales Labor boss Jamie Clements has flatly denied he accepted a bag full of cash from the Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo, saying he instead met him to help set up a dinner with then opposition leader Bill Shorten, Icac has heard.
Previous evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption has alleged that Huang, a banned donor, brought an Aldi shopping bag full of $100,000 cash to Labor’s Sussex Street headquarters in April 2015 and handed it to Clements.Previous evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption has alleged that Huang, a banned donor, brought an Aldi shopping bag full of $100,000 cash to Labor’s Sussex Street headquarters in April 2015 and handed it to Clements.
Icac has heard the illegal donation was covered up using a series of straw, or fake, donors.Icac has heard the illegal donation was covered up using a series of straw, or fake, donors.
But Clements on Thursday denied receiving a bag of cash from Huang, despite prior evidence from the Labor official Kenrick Cheah, who said Clements gave him the bag and asked him to count and process the money.But Clements on Thursday denied receiving a bag of cash from Huang, despite prior evidence from the Labor official Kenrick Cheah, who said Clements gave him the bag and asked him to count and process the money.
Huang Xiangmo gave former NSW Labor boss $35,000 to fight harassment allegations, Icac toldHuang Xiangmo gave former NSW Labor boss $35,000 to fight harassment allegations, Icac told
“I deny that evidence,” he said. “I deny that on my oath.”“I deny that evidence,” he said. “I deny that on my oath.”
Clements agreed that Huang and an interpreter, Tim Xu, had come to the Sussex Street headquarters on 7 April 2015.Clements agreed that Huang and an interpreter, Tim Xu, had come to the Sussex Street headquarters on 7 April 2015.
But he said the purpose of the visit was for Huang to ask that Clements set up a meeting with Shorten. The dinner between Huang and Shorten occurred several weeks later, the inquiry heard. But he said the purpose of the visit was for Huang to ask that Clements set up a meeting with Shorten.
“[Tim Xu said] ‘Mr Huang would like to meet Bill Shorten. He would like to have a lunch or a dinner with Mr Shorten, and could I facilitate that?’,” Clements recalled.“[Tim Xu said] ‘Mr Huang would like to meet Bill Shorten. He would like to have a lunch or a dinner with Mr Shorten, and could I facilitate that?’,” Clements recalled.
“And I said ‘yes of course’, and I believe I called Bill Shorten while I was sitting there.”“And I said ‘yes of course’, and I believe I called Bill Shorten while I was sitting there.”
Records show $100,000 was deposited in Labor bank accounts two days after Huang’s visit. The dinner between Huang and Shorten occurred several weeks later, the inquiry heard.
Clements said Huang had wanted Shorten to arrange a meeting between Victorian premier Daniel Andrews and a delegation from China.
The dinner was said to be held at Master Ken’s Seafood Restaurant, and Clements remembers Shorten sent over glasses of Grange wine to Huang’s staff, while they sat in the tea room.
“Actually Mr Shorten sent some glasses of grange in for them to drink,” Clements said.
Shorten did not end up arranging the meeting with Andrews, as Clements said he had “fixed it” himself.
Clements said he could not rule out the possibility that Huang had a bag with him when he arrived at the Sussex Street office. He also couldn’t rule out the possibility that Huang had brought a gift.Clements said he could not rule out the possibility that Huang had a bag with him when he arrived at the Sussex Street office. He also couldn’t rule out the possibility that Huang had brought a gift.
“I am not in a position to categorically deny the possibility that they had a bag that included a gift for me at that meeting.”“I am not in a position to categorically deny the possibility that they had a bag that included a gift for me at that meeting.”
Labor’s records purport to show the $100,000 was given by a series of 12 donors in association with a Chinese Friends of Labor fundraising dinner, headlined by Shorten and the former NSW opposition leader Luke Foley on 12 March 2015. Records show $100,000 was deposited in Labor bank accounts two days after Huang’s visit to Sussex Street headquarters.
Labor’s records purport to show the $100,000 came from a series of 12 donors in association with a Chinese Friends of Labor fundraising dinner, headlined by Shorten and the former NSW opposition leader Luke Foley on 12 March 2015.
The commission heard that Clements went to that dinner, and visited Huang’s Mosman residence the following Sunday for a “quick lunch”.The commission heard that Clements went to that dinner, and visited Huang’s Mosman residence the following Sunday for a “quick lunch”.
Clements said Huang and Ernest Wong, a NSW Labor upper house MP, were at the lunch.Clements said Huang and Ernest Wong, a NSW Labor upper house MP, were at the lunch.
“I remember talking at the actual lunch, we were drinking Grange,” he said.“I remember talking at the actual lunch, we were drinking Grange,” he said.
Clements remembers trying to convince them on the merits of having French wine with seafood.Clements remembers trying to convince them on the merits of having French wine with seafood.
The inquiry continues before the chief commissioner Peter Hall.The inquiry continues before the chief commissioner Peter Hall.
Independent Commission Against CorruptionIndependent Commission Against Corruption
Labor partyLabor party
New South Wales politicsNew South Wales politics
Huang XiangmoHuang Xiangmo
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