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Charif Kazal Is Exonerated By ICAC: Innocent Name is Cleared
Mr. Charif Kazal nearly came to tears when he was finally cleared of any wrongdoing after being persecuted by ICAC NSW for more than seven years. According to the ICAC Inspector report, allegations made against the Sydney businessman were unfounded, quashing any calls to launch a public inquiry.
The exoneration of Mr. Kazal in and of itself wasn’t surprising at all. The NSW DPP Office made in clear on a whopping five occasions over the lifetime of the inquiry that there was NO basis for pushing legal action against Mr. Kazal. However, David Ipp, the commissioner of ICAC NSW decided to ignore DPP’s advice.
Stubborn Commissioner Ipp
Apparently, Commissioner Ipp didn’t trust in the competency of DPP’s litigation team. In fact, he went against the advice of his own legal staff and decided to bring in the Deputy Director of the DPP. Even so, he wasn’t satisfied by information from the Deputy Director and had to file a complaint with the Director of the DPP. From then it was a slippery slope for ICAC Commissioner Ipp, who was eventually forced to drop charges against Mr. Kazal and close the inquiry owing to the fact that it had no credibility.
Time and again, people have complained that ICAC NSW has been given way too much leeway. And they are right. The situation is so dire that politicians who are supposed to oversee ICAC are tongue-tied when it comes to speaking against the independent agency. Is it even surprising that Mike Baird, then the prime minister, was helpless as ICAC continued with their witch-hunt against the Sydney Businessman?
Exoneration Protocol and The Role of NSW Parliament
The lack of Exoneration Protocol is perhaps the root of it all. Without it, how would innocent victims like Mr. Kazal exonerate themselves? What’s even worse is that NSW Parliament knew there was an issue with the dossier. That’s why they passed an overnight legislation blocking wrongfully accused victims from arguing their innocence in a court of law.
As unbelievable as it might seem, this implies that innocent victims are supposed to watch helplessly as their reputation is smeared in dirt. This essentially creates an inequality in the face of the law for those involved in an ICAC NSW inquiry like Mr. Kazal.
In a clear disregard of Mr. Kazal legal rights, ICAC NSW tried to push legal action against him based on information a disgruntled partner supplied to Media. As if that wasn’t terrible enough, they allowed the star witness to give testimony while on drugs which he had not prescriptions for.
To make matters worse, it became clear that ICAC dug themselves such a big hole in this case that the hid evidence that would clear the Kazal family name. ICAC Watch Group aspires to out as many ICAC NSW abuses as possible and create awareness among local politicians.
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