Eddie Obeid is getting used to his new cell, but he still has some supporters.

A petition addresssed to Justice Robert Beech-Jones, who sentenced Obeid to five years in prison last week, had amassed 244 signatures as Crikey neared deadline.

“Eddie has changed the course of many peoples lives including my own and the majority of people will think i am bias however i always believe there are two sides to the story,” it reads. The biggest problem, it continues, is “the media”.

“They showcase the bad extremely well — but what about the good? This media witch hunt has been going on for far too long and the personal vendetta that Kate McClymont has against Eddie has fuelled an unnecessary fire.

“The imprisonment of Eddie Obeid is a disgrace, it’s a disgrace to the NSW justice system and it’s a disgrace to the Lebanese community. A successful Lebanese politician was just to much for some and i’m calling discrimination.”

The petition goes on to list a number of scandals involving politicians where no one has been sent to jail, including Barry O’Farrell’s “wine debacle”. “Could it be that Barry was born in Australia and not Lebanon? Had he been Lebanese, Greek, Syrian or Italian, could that $3,000 bottle of wine landed him in Jail?” Of course, O’Farrell isn’t in jail because he didn’t do anything criminal in accepting a bottle of wine, though perhaps the unnamed petition creator would just see that as semantic.

Attacking the media is a common theme in responses from those signing, along with alleged racism against him and claims he should be with his family.

Peter Fray

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