Reid 'took gun and passport without Egan's permission'

CORRUPT former government lawyer Warwick Reid yesterday told the High Court he had taken his friend Kevin Egan's Australian passport, a pen gun and ammunition from Egan's house without his approval.

Cross-examined by Egan's lawyer, Mr John McNamara, Reid said Egan was unconscious after drinking heavily when he left.

Egan, former deputy principal Crown counsel, is on trial before Deputy Judge Jones and an all-male jury after denying he transferred his passport to Reid shortly before Reid fled Hongkong and possessing a firearm without a licence.

Reid, who is serving an eight-year jail sentence for corruption, agreed that when he offered them back to Egan the following day, because he felt guilty about the way he had obtained them, he did so in such guarded terms that it could have meant any number of things.

Reid also said that prior to his arrest, he had gone on drinking binges once a week when he got hopelessly drunk.

He agreed he had had alcoholic amnesia at times.


Reid agreed that it was on December 17, 1989, the second day of a three-day binge, that he alleged he met Egan at the Foreign Correspondents' Club, had dinner with him and ended up at his flat, getting the gun, ammunition and passport.

He said his recollection of what happened was imperfect and he agreed that in a recent statement to the ICAC he had said his recollection was unreliable. He denied making the story up and rejected Mr McNamara's suggestion that Egan had in fact left the club soon after Reid arrived.

Mr McNamara also suggested Reid was never in possession of Egan's passport and that a phone call he later made to Egan while he was on the run in China was in fact to ask for his passport. Reid denied this.

He will continue his cross-examination today.


Earlier, when Reid was questioned by Mr Adrian Huggins, QC, leading Mr Alfred Chan, for the Crown, he said that on December 17, 1989, he was very drunk and Egan was worse - Reid had never seen him so drunk.

He recalled at the Foreign Correspondents' Club, when they were still reasonably coherent, telling Egan he was leaving in a few days. He said he still protested his innocence and asked Egan if he could get the shotgun they had earlier talked about.


Egan said the owner was on leave and Reid said he did not seriously pursue the matter.

At some point later, there was mention of the pen gun at Egan's home, which Reid thought must have been raised by Egan as he had no prior knowledge of such a weapon.

He first saw the gun at Egan's home. He told the court Egan went to fetch the gun and explained how it worked. Reid said it was very rusty and it looked like a James Bond weapon. Egan was not very coherent and kept drifting off to sleep. Egan also produced a box of ammunition, Reid said.


On Egan's passport, Reid said his memory was hazy, but he recalled Egan showing his passport and Reid was interested because there was no plastic over the photograph so it was easy to alter.

But the outcome was inconclusive as Egan was so drunk, Reid said.

When he left, Egan was unconscious. Reid said he had no idea how he got home, but in the morning he woke and found the gun, the ammunition and Egan's passport on his bedside table.


He said he later discarded the ammunition in a rubbish bin in Central and he threw the gun down a cliff on Mount Nicholson Road.

Reid said he tore up the passport and flushed it down the toilet because it looked bad after he replaced the photo.

He said he had not told the ICAC about Egan for several months because he did not want to get him into trouble.