12 Jul 2011

Bridgecorp director set to continue fight for legal aid

6:39 pm on 12 July 2011

Former Bridgecorp director Rod Petricevic looks set to continue his fight for a taxpayer-funded defence of fraud charges.

Mr Petricevic and four other directors have been charged in relation to the collapse of the finance company in 2007.

On Tuesday, his bid for a stay in proceedings failed at the Auckland High Court.

Justice Venning says he believes Mr Petricevic has filed a fresh claim for legal aid on the grounds that his circumstances have changed.

Mr Petricevic had earlier been turned down because his family trust, of which his wife is a beneficiary, could be used to fund his defence.

But the judge says if the trust no longer has enough assets, Mr Petricevic is entitled to reapply.

In seeking a stay, Mr Petricevic had argued that because he had not been given legal aid, he could not afford a defence team and would not get a fair trial.

But Justice Venning says the lack of a defence lawyer does not necessarily make a trial unfair and though it is not an ideal situation, Mr Petricevic is an expert in the matters that will be raised.