Disgraced former Labor minister and convicted criminal Eddie Obeid has been ordered to go to prison to begin his sentence after being jailed over a corrupt mining licence.
Obeid, his former colleague Ian Macdonald and son Moses Obeid were all handed jail sentences on Thursday.
But later that afternoon Obeid, 77, was bailed pending an appeal on his conviction, meaning he did not spend last night behind bars.
Yesterday will be his last as a free man after Justice Elizabeth Fullerton ordered him to go directly to jail today.
He must present himself by 10am.
His legal team had argued because of his age and health he could get very sick or even die from COVID-19 if he caught it in the cells at the Surry Hills Police Centre, where prisoners are processed before being taken to jail.
On Thursday he was sentenced to seven years with a non-parole period of three years and ten months.
His son Moses, 51, was jailed for five years with a non-parole period of three years.
Macdonald was handed the longest sentence and was jailed for nine years and six months with a non-parole period of five years and three months.
The conspiracy related to a coal exploration licence for the Obeid family farm, Cherrydale Park, in the Bylong Valley in NSW.
Macdonald was the state resources minister at the time, and a rigged tender saw the Obeid family pocket $30 million.
The state government is now working to get that money back.
“I don’t care if the ATO strip him bare. As far as I’m concerned the crime commissioner can take his socks and jocks,” NSW Police Minister David Elliott said today.
Obeid has to be at Silverwater Jail by 10am tomorrow.
He will then do two weeks of quarantine, due to the pandemic, before joining the prison population.