South Canterbury Finance

February 13, 2012 by staff 

South Canterbury Finance, Timaru lawyer Ed Sullivan and retired accountant Bob White are looking forward to their day in court and the chance to clear their names.

Name suppression for the pair ended at 10am yesterday, meaning the names of all five of the South Canterbury Finance (SCF) accused facing charges can now be revealed.

Between them they face 21 charges worth $1.7 billion laid by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The other three accused waived their right to name suppression earlier.

They are former SCF chief executive Lachie McLeod, Timaru chartered accountant Terry Hutton, and former SCF chief financial officer Graeme Brown.

The five were to appear in Timaru District Court yesterday. However, the registrar received applications to remand the defendants to Monday, May 28 for a post committal conference.

All defendants have issued press releases through their lawyers denying the allegations and signalling they will be defended.

In a statement through his lawyer, Sullivan said he was innocent and would vigorously defend the allegations.

White’s lawyer, Wellington QC Bruce Squire, said he was concerned about recent statements made by the director of the SFO to the news media about the nature and extent of the alleged offending disclosed by the collapse of SCF.

“These matters were only allegations still to be proved and that it was difficult to escape the conclusion that the director’s comment seemed designed to raise the stakes in a way which might well be likely to be prejudicial to the defendants’ right to a fair trial before an impartial jury.”

SFO chief executive Adam Feeley said he had been very careful about what had been said publicly.

“I am not sure what he (Mr Squire) is talking about.

“We take great care to comply with the solicitor-general’s guidelines on media comment.

“It is always a balance between the public’s right to know and not prejudicing a trial,” Mr Feeley said.

There was no indication when or where the trial of the five would be held, he said.

“We have had discussions with our lawyers but we haven’t formed a firm view of where the trial should be.”

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