Scott Morrison’s mate in prison for bribery

A MAN praised by Treasurer Scott Morrison as a "strong and passionate Australian" has been jailed for four years for paying a $1 million bribe to a foreign official.

Mamdouh Elomar, the ­father of notorious Islamic State terrorist Mohamed, was locked up earlier this year and fined $250,000 after bribing an Iraqi official to try to win construction contracts worth up to $500 million.

The bribe was paid in 2014, the same year that Mr Morrison stood up in parliament to praise Elomar's character.

The New South Wales Supreme Court judgment shows Elomar's lawyers used Mr Morrison's comments - made when he was Immigration Minister - as part of their sentencing submission.

Mr Morrison had described Elomar as a "brave and courageous man" who was standing up as a "strong and passionate Australian".

Mamdouh Elomar, front left, next to Scott Morrison at a community barbecue in 2014. Picture: Chris McKeen
Mamdouh Elomar, front left, next to Scott Morrison at a community barbecue in 2014. Picture: Chris McKeen

Responding to a question in parliament from fellow Liberal MP Craig Laundy, Mr Morrison said he had recently joined Elomar at a barbecue to promote peace in the face of the rise of Islamic extremism.

"Let's not forget that Mamdouh's brother and son have both become those who have fallen into the terrorists' snare and have advocated those horrible things," Mr Morrison said at the time.

"Mamdouh, in his own family, has had to stand up to that. We need to stand with them."

The Treasurer told the Herald Sun yesterday that he had not been in contact with Elomar since 2014.

"Speaking out against people signing up to terrorism is commendable, but does not give you a leave pass for illegality of a different kind," Mr Morrison said.

"Those actions cannot, should not and have not been condoned by me."

Elomar was jailed and fined along with his brother Ibrahim Elomar and businessman John Jousif.

In a statement after they were sentenced, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said they were "dishonest" men and praised the Australian Federal Police for bringing them to justice.

The court found the men paid the bribe out of greed to try and turn around their business which had been affected by the "stain on the family name" caused by Mohamed Elomar, the jihadist who was killed while fighting with Islamic State.



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