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‘Do you know what you are doing?’ Hazzard fails to rule out call to ICAC barrister

Brad Hazzard speaks during Wednesday’s question time at NSW Parliament. Photo: Peter Braig NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

Margaret Cunneen. Photo: Daniel Munoz

Brad Hazzard has failed to rule out calling the counsel assisting the corruption watchdog’s investigation into Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen to ask “Do you know what you are doing?” before public hearings were due to commence.

In parliament on Wednesday Mr Hazzard – who was attorney-general at the time – was asked by opposition leader Luke Foley to confirm the call to counsel assisting Michael Fordham, SC in 2014.

Mr Hazzard responded that he had “no recollection of what you’re asserting”.

Premier Mike Baird hit back at Mr Foley, accusing Labor of trying to smear Mr Hazzard and warning him to be “very very careful” about where he got the information.

Mr Baird noted media reports suggesting it could have emanated from confidential material tabled at a parliamentary committee by Independent Commission Against Corruption commissioner Megan Latham last week.

The material related to ICAC’s ill-fated pursuit of Ms Cunneen over allegations she tried to pervert the course of justice.

He noted Liberal MP Damien Tudehope has sought advice from the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly about possible breaches of privilege and contempt relating to the proceedings of the committee.

The claim was made as Labor intensifies its focus on Mr Hazzard over his role in the ICAC’s investigation of Ms Cunneen.

On Tuesday, Mr Hazzard told parliament he had no recollection of giving Ms Cunneen’s mobile phone number to a witness who came forward with information favourable to the crown prosecutor.

ICAC investigated allegations Ms Cunneen told her son’s girlfriend to fake chest pains to avoid a breath test following a car accident.

It abandoned the investigation after the High Court ruled it was beyond its jurisdiction. The NSW solicitor general said no charges should be laid.

Ms Cunneen says she was given the witness details by director of public prosecutions Lloyd Babb but she passed them to her solicitor and did not speak to her.

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