Alleged fraud conspirator Greg Dunn has attacked claims that mining contractors Peter Bartlett and Ron Sayers secreted profits overseas to dodge a potential huge tax bill.
Mr Dunn yesterday told a Supreme Court jury he expected Perth lawyer Ian Cochrane to testify that Mr Sayers and Mr Bartlett had hundreds of millions of dollars available for any tax office claim. Mr Dunn said he expected the lawyer to reject prosecution allegations that thwarting creditors was the motive for moving $32.4 million to an offshore company recommended by Swiss accounting firm Strachans.
Mr Dunn, who is representing himself, foreshadowed his questioning of Mr Cochrane while giving an opening address fighting a charge of conspiring to cause a loss to the Commonwealth.
The scheme promoter allegedly conspired with Mr Bartlett and Mr Sayers and accountant Deborah Grace over a financial arrangement allegedly designed to protect a tax avoidance scheme.
Prosecutors claim the conspiracy ran from 2002 to 2004, relating to a false interest bill of $7.1 million created for the Bartlett-controlled contracting group Barminco for 1998-99.
Mr Cochrane, an adviser to Mr Sayers and Mr Bartlett, is to be a prosecution witness. Prosecutors said Mr Cochrane warned Mr Sayers, who was worried about being audited by the tax office, that Mr Dunn's scheme was "cutting edge".
All the accused have pleaded not guilty, but only Mr Dunn gave an opening address.
Mr Dunn said important prosecution documents, including a purported handwritten note allegedly composed by him, had disappeared.
He said a secretary who typed backdated minutes based on the note made statements to investigators contradicting claims by accountant Trevor Thomson that the handwritten document was also backdated to June, 1999.
Mr Thomson has been convicted over the alleged conspiracy.
Mr Dunn told the jury the accountant had received a reduced sentence in return for testifying in this trial.The trial continues today.