Sincere thanks for the rude letter
Friday, December 19, 2014
Justinian in Bar Talk, ICAC, Margaret Cunneen, NSW Bar Association

Correspondence from lofty places ... Margaret Cunneen replies to critic who accused her of derailing ICAC's important work ... Is it all the fault of her long-estranged sister? ... Unexpected love and support ... Mystery deepens 

Dear Sophia: chest pains

IT'S nice that crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen has kept her wicked since of humour, despite the unresolved ICAC investigation dangling over her head. 

One concerned citizen (who wishes to remain anon) this month wrote to Cunneen following the NSW Court of Appeal majority decision in Cunneen v ICAC, criticising her for challenging the corruption watchdog's powers. 

He told her that while she may have won in the CA, "you have lost heavily in the court of public opinion".

"It is deplorable that your actions have now impacted on the ICAC's function in relation to other investigations ... One has to question your reluctance to face the process of ICAC." 

He was startled to receive a reply from the stood-aside prosecutor and member of the Bar Association council: 

"Thanks so much for your love and support which I appreciate so much.

It is indeed amazing that these people don't realise that my dear Sophia doesn't drink (her blood test was 0.00) and the crash was so bad that the car was written off. Isn't it good that all the independent bystanders said I did absolutely nothing wrong? 

What a malevent [sic] person my long-estranged sister is to take the bare bones of the terrible crash that my father told her about and do this to me.

I know you wish for justice and I thank you for that. 

I would've so glad [sic] to do all I can to advance your professional interests and I do thank you so much for your unexpected love and support. 

Sincere thanks,

Margaret" 

The "dear Sophia" to which she refers is Sophia Tilley, her son's partner who crashed Cunneen's car. The prosecutor is alleged by ICAC to have perverted the course of justice by advising the young nymph to fake chest pains in order to avoid a police test for her alcohol level. 

Was Cunneen being ironic, had she had too many celebratory tinctures following her win in the Court of Appeal, or had she muddled her correspondence? 

Importantly, it seems doubtful that the proposed ICAC inquiry is based solely to the word of her sister. There must be something else. Could phone taps from PIC during the Steve Fletcher investigation also have played a part?

See: PIC picks on punters  

Whatever. It's comforting to know that she pledges to "advance [the] professional interests" of a complete stranger. 

See: Corruption busting 

Article originally appeared on Justinian: Australian legal magazine. News on lawyers and the law (http://justinian.com.au/).
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