newsCO.com.au–Phone call transcript contradicts Matthew Guy on dinner with ‘mobster’

August 13, 2017

Secretly recorded phone calls directly contradict claims by Opposition Leader Matthew Guy that he had no idea he was meeting Melbourne’s alleged Mafia boss at a lobster restaurant earlier this year.

Transcripts of the calls, obtained by The Age, also confirm that the Lobster Cave dinner attended by alleged Mafia boss Tony Madafferi was a secretive affair, not a semi-public function as depicted by Mr Guy.


Matthew Guy: ‘I don’t know cousin Tony’

The Opposition Leader says he was unaware that alleged Mafia boss Tony Madafferi would be present at a dinner in Beaumaris earlier this year.

On Tuesday, Mr Guy told reporters outside Parliament House that  he did not know  Mr Madafferi would be at the dinner until he was introduced to him in the restaurant as “cousin Tony”.

But in transcripts of the phone recordings, the Liberal Party figure who organised the dinner, Barrie Macmillan, says he personally briefed Mr Guy’s office about Mr Madafferi’s presence at the dinner, and stressed the need to keep the meeting confidential.

“I had to forward the names to [Matthew Guy’s private secretary]. I had to do it all through [her]. It was all kept fairly hush hush,” says Mr Macmillan, who also attended the dinner.

“I explained the whole thing [to Mr Guy’s secretary] and I said, the whole thing to her. And said, I don’t want to put anything in writing here, so let’s just talk on the phone and I then picked the venue and gave them the list of the people.”

“Everyone I gave [to Mr Guy’s office]: Antonio Madafferi, that’s his full name; Frank Lamattina; Bruno Diaco.”

“So this all started off in a big way with Matt, in helping Matt to become the next premier.”

“It was all kept very private but I’m not saying Matthew [Guy] didn’t know. Matthew knew exactly who was coming to that thing.”

However, Mr Guy insisted to reporters on Tuesday there was no way of him knowing the alleged crime figure would be at the Lobster Cave.

“Tell me how I would know that? I’m sure every politician has dined with people who they didn’t know was going to be there,” Mr Guy said.

Mr Macmillan, however, is recorded stating: “It was all kept very private, but I’m not saying Matthew [Guy] didn’t know. Matthew knew exactly who was coming to that thing.”

“I don’t want to put stuff in writing here. Let’s just talk on the phone.”

The Age revealed on Tuesday that the Opposition Leader dined with Mr Madafferi and three of his relatives over several bottles of Penfolds Grange at the Beaumaris restaurant, and discussed the location of the Melbourne wholesale fruit and vegetable market. All four men are Liberal Party donors.

Mr Madafferi has been the subject of intense police scrutiny over a number of years. 

Mr Guy subsequently dismissed claims the dinner was in any way a clandestine affair, stating: “If it was so secretive… why was it in the middle of a packed suburban restaurant? Cos it was. I wasn’t ushered in by anyone in secret and ushered up to the back.”

But the organiser of the dinner, Mr Macmillan, is recorded saying that Mr Guy’s entry and exit from the restaurant were handled precisely to avoid any scrutiny.

“[The Lobster Cave] gave us a very, very private table. No one really saw Matthew with any of these people. I was very conscious, I stood in the street until Matthew’s chauffeur dropped him off. He walked in behind me … and we all left separately. I walked out with Matt when his driver came, so the other people didn’t walk out with him…. you know, I’m not stupid.”

“No one really saw him, the people that were there.”

“I met Matthew quietly in the street, took him into a private table, no one really saw him, the people that were there …We all left separately … the other people didn’t walk out with him [Matthew Guy].”

In the covertly recorded conversations about the dinner reviewed by Fairfax Media and Four Corners, it appears the Liberal Party made an effort to keep the dinner private.

“I don’t want to put anything in writing here, so let’s just talk on the phone,” Mr Macmillan says when describing how the dinner should be planned.

There are a number of references in the transcript to avoiding conversations on the phone or in a car.

Also during his Tuesday press conference, Mr Guy downplayed reports that Grange was consumed at the dinner.

“I wouldn’t have liked to pay the bill, we had two bottles of Grange … We just drank that and the menu was all picked out. We had top shelf lobster and this and that and everything else.”

However, Mr Macmillan says in the transcript: “I wouldn’t have liked to pay the bill, we had two bottles of Grange.” 

“We just drank that [bottles of Grange] and the menu was all picked out. We had top shelf lobster and this and that and everything else.”

A second transcript describes three bottles of Grange being consumed. There is also reference to the resignation of Barry O’Farrell, who stepped down as NSW premier after allegations he was given a bottle of Grange as a gift he failed to disclose.  

Mr Guy and the Liberal Party did not pay for the meal, which may have cost several thousand dollars.

In the transcript, Mr Macmillan suggests that market gardener Frank Lamattina had met Mr Guy at a Liberal fundraiser in November, 2016, where the Opposition Leader gave him his personal number and committed to attending an intimate dinner with him.

Mr Guy appears to have initially avoided this commitment, but later agreed to meet at the Lobster Cave when Mr Lamattina complained, saying: “The promise is, you know, John Howard used to keep all his promises. Is there a problem?”

Mr Guy told the press conference on Tuesday morning that the dinner had nothing to do with political donations, despite the fact that the four businessman who attended, including Mr Madafferi, are all donors.

His office also on Monday insisted that 20 people had attended, which on Tuesday he amended to say over “a dozen, or maybe more”. However, Mr Macmillan repeatedly states on the transcript of the recording that a total of seven people were invited.

Mr Madafferi, a wealthy market gardener and the owner of the La Porchetta pizza chain, has repeatedly been accused by police in court of being a high-ranking member of Melbourne’s Mafia and Mr Guy has previously been warned about associating with him.

In an affidavit filed in court in June to support Mr Madafferi’s ban from Crown Casino and all Victorian racetracks, Detective Superintendent Peter Brigham said the police hold “substantial intelligence” indicating that Mr Madafferi had “substantial and close involvement with serious criminal conduct including drug importation, murder and extortion”.

Mr Madafferi has never been charged with a criminal offence and denies any wrongdoing.

Mr Guy has cultivated a “tough on crime” persona as Opposition Leader, but has previously been warned about associating with alleged Mafia figures after he claimed as planning minister he had “unwittingly” become the star attraction at a 2013 fundraiser hosted by Mr Madafferi at his Docklands venue centre.

A spokesman for Mr Guy acknowledged that the Opposition Leader had been at the dinner, but said it had been “hosted and organised by Liberal Party member and executive member of AUSVEG Victoria, Frank Lamattina”, and was “held in open view at a popular restaurant”.

“Most of the people, you know, long term market gardeners, hate going to Epping. They used to go to Footscray, and that’s where the wholesale markets were.

“They’ve gone way out the north to Epping, they hate the management there, they don’t like the general manager and the people who run it. It was originally run by a committee of market gardeners.”

Also at the dinner was Hawthorn footballer turned Liberal councillor Geoff Ablett, and two other Calabrian community members, Bruno Diaco, a relative of Mr Madafferi, and Vince Doria, a business partner of Mr Madafferi who co-owns the Docklands venue used for the 2013 fundraiser.

Mr Lamattina angrily declined to answer questions, stating: “You print a lot of f—ing lies. If you want to see me you come and see me on the farm.”

Mr Macmillan did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The Liberal Party is cash strapped, with some of its traditional wealthy donors withholding funds after a spat between party officials and long-time donors.

A series of Fairfax Media and Four Corners reports over the past two years have shown that Tony Madafferi and Mr Lamattina were involved in a 2006 donations scandal in which the planned deportation of Mr Madafferi’s brother, Francesco, a Mafia boss, was overturned after a long campaign of lobbying and donating to federal Liberal politicians. Francesco, a violent criminal and drug trafficker, was later jailed in connection to Australia’s biggest ecstasy importation.

For three decades, policing agencies have alleged Mr Madafferi holds a senior rank in Australia’s secretive Calabrian Mafia organisation.

The Australian Federal Police covertly filmed Mr Madafferi in a city park and at Crown Casino with several notorious Mafia drug traffickers in 2008 as part of a probe into Australia’s biggest ecstasy importation.

Mr Madafferi has never been charged with any crime and denies any wrongdoing.

After the Lygon Street murder of Mr Madafferi’s lawyer and associate, Joe Acquaro, in 2015, Mr Madafferi’s solicitor, Paulo Tatti, revealed in an affidavit filed in court that detectives had falsely accused Mr Madafferi of placing a $200,000 contract on Mr Acquaro’s life. There is no suggestion Mr Madafferi was involved in Mr Acquaro’s unsolved murder.

Mr Madafferi gained further notoriety after a 2015 Fairfax Media and Four Corners expose about his political donation activity. The expose detailed Mr Guy’s appearance at the Madafferi political fundraiser in Docklands in 2013.

Mr Guy was planning minister at the time and his office claimed he had no role in Mr Madafferi’s presence at the fundraiser. After the 2015 reports, Liberal politicians allegedly cut contact with Mr Madafferi.

The Howard government gave Mr Madafferi’s brother, drug trafficker Francesco, a visa in 2006 after Tony Madafferi and Frank Lamattina lobbied and donated to several Liberal MPs.

Know more? Tip off Nick McKenzie securely at JournoTips or SecureDrop

 

newsCO.com.au – #1 News in a FLASH

Twitter – @realnewsco

The NLP Directory – Get Help

Melbourne.GOLD Book a Tradie or a Pro

HDO – Hotel Directory Online

TRUMPn – Real News and Market

VOGUE Model Agency

newsCO.live – News Magazine

Models.GOLD

Spoil a Princess – Princess Awards

NYC Planet Girls – NycPlanetGirls.com

Check Us Out Magazine

Superstar news – Hollywood Gossip News

LUSH Wednesday Melbourne



GOONsky.com World Weather Check

Checkusin compare Hotels & Flights

GossBOSS Celebrity Hot Gossip News

Article Categories:
Australia

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *