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الرئيسية | استراليا | Woman pleads not guilty over fire at centre linked to Eddie Obeid

Woman pleads not guilty over fire at centre linked to Eddie Obeid

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المصدر: dailytelegraph.com.au
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Lina Kurdi was arrested at Sydney Airport

A WOMAN has pleaded not guilty to being involved in setting fire to a function centre connected to the family of corrupt former politician Eddie Obeid.

 

Lina Kurdi, 26, appeared before Bankstown Local Court today on charges of conceal serious indictable offence and being an accessory after the fact with police alleging she knew Omar Jamel Eddine, who was charged with setting fire to the Bellevue Reception Centre at Bankstown, in southwest Sydney earlier this year.

 

Police arrested and charged Eddine, 33, in August over the January 3 fire which gutted the reception centre, which caused extensive damage.

 

Her lawyer entered the not guilty plea on her behalf during her brief court appearance today before she swiftly left the courthouse covering her face under a jacket and jumped into a car waiting nearby.

 

Kurdi, who works at Wilsons Parking within Customs House at Sydney International Airport, was arrested at the airport in September following the release of CCTV footage which showed two people inside the reception centre during an earlier attempt to set it on fire on December 26, 2016.

 

That blaze did not destroy the centre and was extinguished shortly after with the building suffering significant smoke damage.

 

Police also released an image of a black XR-model Ford utility, which was seen in the area at the time of the fire.

 

A few days later on January 3 the centre was again ablaze this time causing significant damage.

 

The reception centre has been the target of a number of arson attacks over the years and is owned by the Redpoc company.

 

Among the directors of the company is Wally Wehbe, a friend and former business partner of Eddie Obeid, as well as Obeid’s son Paul Obeid.

 

The centre was damaged during a fire in 2015 after someone forced entry to the building with police still yet to lay charges against anyone over the incident.

 

There is no suggestion Mr Wehbe or any member of the Obeid family were involved in the fires.

 

The disgraced former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid was jailed in 2016 for misconduct in public office over his family’s secret business deals at Circular Quay and recently lost an appeal against his conviction.

 

The State Government is deciding whether it will pursue him through the courts and have him pay back almost $300,000 in taxpayer-funded legal fees given to him so he could fight corruption allegations, which he was entitled to as a former minister.

 

He will also be stripped of his taxpayer-funded pension, estimated to be in excess of $100,000 a year.

 

Kurdi remains on strict conditional bail and is due to appear before Burwood Local Court in November.

المصدر: dailytelegraph.com.au

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