Disgraced former Labor MP Eddie Obeid has lost his bid to challenge his conviction in the High Court.
Obeid was sentenced to five years in prison, in December 2016 after being convicted of misconduct in public office.
The conviction related to his failure to disclose his family’s business interest in cafe leases at Sydney’s Circular Quay.
The High Court ruled there was insufficient possibility the appeal would succeed and leave was formally refused.
Obeid’s legal team had argued the courts had no jurisdiction to hear a case about misconduct in public office and it was in the exclusive jurisdiction of Parliament.
However the court rejected this argument.
A fall from grace
Obeid’s prosecution stemmed from ICAC hearings which concluded that he had engaged in “corrupt conduct”.
At the time, Obeid told reporters he believed there would be a “less than 1 per cent chance” he would be prosecuted as a result.
He was later charged, and the prosecution alleged that in 2007, when he was a member of the upper house, Obeid had lobbied then deputy-chief executive of the State Maritime Authority, Steven Dunn, over Circular Quay leases — without disclosing that his family owned a series of harbourside cafes in the Quay.
During his Supreme Court trial, the court heard Obeid had been trying to convince Mr Dunn — whom he knew when he had been fisheries minister — to stop a competitive tender process and that Obeid misused his position as an Upper House MP to “dupe” Mr Dunn into believing he was acting on behalf of his constituents.
As a result of his failed appeal, Obeid will continue to serve the remainder of his five-year sentence and will be eligible for parole in December 2019.