Former Bridgecorp director Rod Petricevic can afford to pay for a legal defence and is choosing not to, the Crown says.
Mr Petricevic and four other directors are facing charges in relation to the collapse of his company in 2007.
Mr Petricevic is applying for a permanent stay of proceedings for fraud charges. Lawyer Charles Cato says his client is bankrupt and he cannot represent him without surety of payment.
Mr Cato says that would be unfair to Mr Petricevic and if a man can't get a fair trial, then there should be no trial at all.
Mr Cato says the matters are wide ranging and complex, and Mr Petricevic needs proper legal representation.
But Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey says when the court denied Mr Petricevic legal aid, it effectively said he could afford to pay for his defence, otherwise he would have been granted aid.
Mr Dickey says Mr Petricevic is simply choosing not to, so can't argue that he would not be given a fair trial.
Another defendant, Robert Roest, is also seeking a stay of proceedings, but only until he finds out whether he qualifies for legal aid.