NSW senior crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen has revealed her son and his girlfriend may sue ICAC over the way the couple was treated in an investigation into allegations the prosecutor had tried to pervert the course of justice.
Cunneen publically criticised the commission, describing ICAC’s powers as ‘extraordinarily draconian’ after she was investigated over allegations she had advised her son’s girlfriend, Sophia Tilley to fake chest pains to avoid a breath test after a car accident. She took ICAC to the High Court last year which ruled the watchdog had no power to investigate the allegations.
“Stephen and Sophia ... were completely innocent and dreadfully, dreadfully treated so I'll arrange for them to have some advice about that,” Cunneen told the ABC, revealing her son and his girlfriend would be seeking legal advice on whether or not to bring a civil action against ICAC.
“The powers that they have seize phones, tap phones and of course people don't have a right to silence, they're dragged into inquiries without knowing anything about the so-called evidence that ICAC holds against them or where it came from,” she said, adding that commission needs a complete overhaul.
“So these sorts of powers are extremely harsh against the citizen, and when harsh powers are applied, people always have to keep in mind the balance between public and private interest and usually that balance is best struck in courts.”