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Ex-union boss, NSW MP retrial a year away

The retrial of former NSW mining minister Ian Macdonald and former union boss John Maitland on corruption charges will likely not start until July 2021, more than two years after an appeal court overturned their convictions.

Macdonald, a former NSW Labor powerbroker, and Maitland, a 74-year-old former national secretary of the powerful CFMEU, are accused of being involved in the awarding of a mining licence in 2008 to a company chaired by Maitland.

Both were convicted and jailed in 2017 but the Court of Criminal Appeal in 2019 found the jury was not properly directed and ordered a retrial.

That trial was to begin in September but it was postponed on Friday by NSW Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Fullerton.

A separate trial involving Macdonald was due to end by July but coronavirus delays means it likely won’t end in 2020.

Justice Fullerton says she is in no position to set a retrial date for the pair until Macdonald’s current trial is resolved.

“I know that is not entirely satisfactory for (Maitland) given his retrial has been pending for some considerable time,” she told Maitland’s lawyer.

“I regret it, however, the court can’t do more than this.”

The case will be mentioned in the same court on March 1, 2021.

Originally published as Ex-union boss, NSW MP retrial a year away

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