CBL Insurance in Auckland.
Lawyer for a man accused of alleged multi-million dollar fraud says his client suffers from serious heart disease and his name could have fatal consequences.
The 82-year-old, who has provisional name suppression, is charged with one count of deception and is linked to collapsed insurer CBL.
His lawyer John Billington QC told the Auckland High Court on Tuesday his client was already facing the stress of a civil case and a Serious Fraud Office civil case. He said naming him could “knock him down”.
Billington pointed to medical reports from a cardiologist which showed his client had high blood pressure and was at risk of having a stroke.
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Billington asked Judge Geoffrey Venning if he could be sure that the added stress of being appointed wouldn’t lead to “medical consequences.”
“Is this a risk that the court must take in these circumstances?” Billington asked.
He said his client had been denied immunity from prosecution and would stand trial in June of next year.
Billington said he didn’t want to be too dramatic, but that his media-named client could be the tipping point.
“It’s not a distant possibility.”
Crown Attorney Brian Dickey opposed the request for continued name removal.
He said it was difficult to separate the different factors causing human stress and wondered to what extent this stress was caused by the man’s name, as opposed to legal action.
Dickey said the allegation the man was facing involved a € 12.5million transaction.
He said two other men accused in connection with CBL had been named
Judge Venning said he was not sure naming the man would add to the stress and “knock him down”. He said he needed some time to review the medical evidence and reserved his decision.
The man will face a separate trial from the other two defendants in June 2022.
CBL Insurance CEO Peter Alan Harris and CFO Carden Mulholland are set to stand trial in September on charges of fraud.
CBL Corporation was put into liquidation in May 2020 after going into voluntary administration in February 2018.