At common law, a conspiracy is an agreement intentionally entered into between two or more people to do an unlawful act or to do a lawful act by unlawful means.
The mental element that renders a person liable as a conspirator is a shared intention with at least one other person that the unlawful act be committed. To express it another way, the agreement that is the essence of the offence of conspiracy consists in the manifestation of a common intention that an unlawful act occur.
In The Supreme Court of NSW today - from their ABC:
Former NSW Labor ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald and Obeid's son Moses have been found guilty of conspiring over a lucrative mine licence.
- The charges related to a land deal in Bylong Valley near Mudgee
- The Obeid family made $30,000,000 from the deal
- The year-long trial featured 38 witnesses and 6,000 pages of exhibits
Eddie Obeid 77, his middle son Moses 51, and Macdonald 72, stood trial accused of conspiring over a coal exploration licence granted over the Obeid family farm in the Bylong Valley near Mudgee, when Mr Macdonald was Resources Minister from 2007 to 2009.
The Crown case was that they conspired for Macdonald to commit misconduct in public office.
Justice Elizabeth Fullerton who presided over their year-long trial without a jury, retried to consider her verdict in February this year.
The guilty verdict that she delivered today took almost two hours, reflecting what she called "the complexity of the trial".
Justice Fullerton said the mental element of conspiracy is "an intention shared with at least one other person."
The judge said she found Macdonald committed five of eight acts of misconduct he was accused of in setting up and granting the licence.
Justice Fullerton said Moses Obeid took a "hands-on approach" in exploiting Macdonald's misconduct in public office, and that Eddie Obeid had knowledge of it.
During the year-long- trial that included 38 witnesses and 6,000 pages of exhibits, prosecutor Sophie Callan SC, argued there was enough circumstantial evidence to prove the men were guilty.