A developer defending himself against accusations of tax fraud says his skills in the courtroom are improving after copping criticism from a NSW judge while cross-examining a witness.
Hightrade construction group's former boss Li Zhang is defending himself against two charges.
Zhang was repeatedly criticised while questioning a St George Bank employee giving evidence when the trial resumed in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court on Wednesday.
The bank lent almost $30 million to Zhang's companies for a resort development in the Hunter region in 2004, documents before the court show.
Acting Judge Anthony Blackmore told Zhang his questions were not adding value to the case.
"You're just asking him to read the document," the judge said after multiple attempts to guide Zhang through questioning.
"The document is already in front of the jury, they can read it themselves ... there's no point in asking this person to read it," Judge Blackmore said.
Zhang would have time later in the case to make his own submissions to the jury about what the documents showed, but the witness on Wednesday could not assist with many of the questions Zhang had been asking, the judge said.
Zhang acknowledged the judge's guidance.
"You can see my progress improving but it's not good enough, I still keep learning," Zhang said.
The judge later offered further advice when rejecting more of Zhang's questions, some presenting facts for which he had no evidence, others which did not make sense.
"I have no idea what you're asking about and your propositions aren't clear," Judge Blackmore told Zhang, before taking over a line of questioning himself, and again warning Zhang not to present evidence from the bar table.
The trial continues.