The third trial of former Satellite director Greg Fisher got off to a slow start this week.
Fisher’s counsel Marcus Einfeld and Crown Prosecutor Robert Sutherland spent the first two days of hearings debating whether Fisher was eligible to recover some of his expenses from the abandoned second trial.
Einfeld told the court Fisher’s parents had funded his defence in the first two trials and could not afford to pay for a third unless they recovered funds. Fisher’s previous barristers Stuart Littlemore and Charles Waterstreet would not agree to defend him without an assured payment, the court heard.
Einfeld said Fisher had not applied for Legal Aid and was unlikely to be eligible. If he were eligible, the new counsel would need time to read through the documents from the first two trials in order to ensure Fisher received reasonable representation.
Fisher has faced criminal charges twice before relating to alleged misuse of Satellite funds. The first hearing, in October 2001 was aborted after two weeks. The second was abandoned on the last day of a two-and-a-half week hearing in May after the judge ruled a box of evidence had not been tendered.
District Court judge Martin Blackmore adjourned the trial until today (Thursday 22 August) to make a decision on whether to award costs.