1 Jul 2010

Decision reserved in Feltex directors' trial

8:19 pm on 1 July 2010

The five directors of failed company Feltex Carpets will have to wait until next month to find out the verdicts over charges of falsifying its financial reports.

Feltex went into liquidation in 2006 and its five directors are charged with failing to disclose the company was in breach of its loan with ANZ bank in its 2005 half-yearly accounts.

Defence lawyers for the directors gave their final closing statements at Auckland District Court on Thursday.

They have argued that the company's accounting firm, Ernst and Young, which was paid to review the statements, is responsible for their being incorrect.

The Crown says the directors were responsible for those statements and deliberately misled investors because the company was under financial pressure.

Defence lawyer Paul Davison QC, who represents two of the directors, Peter Thomas and John Hagen, says the Crown is clutching at straws with its case.

Mr Davison told the court that layer after layer of assurances were given, and that would have justified any reasonable director in concluding that the company's accounts were reliable and accurate.

Judge Jan Doogue reserved her decision until 2 August.