Jury told of 'illogical' case against Opes Prime director
The case against a director of failed stockbroking firm Opes Prime is fundamentally wrong and is like a badly designed, leaking ship, a defence barrister says.
Julian Alexander Smith is accused of duping a bank into lending him $95 million just days before Melbourne-based Opes Prime Stockbroking collapsed.
The company was declared insolvent in March 2008 owing creditors about $650 million.
Smith is alleged to have signed the loan despite knowing there was a $200 million shortfall in the company's accounts.
But defence barrister Mark Regan has told the Victorian Supreme Court that Smith's intention was to rescue his company and he did not commit a crime.
He compared the case against Smith to a ship that "leaked badly and suffers from design flaws".
Mr Regan told jurors on Monday the prosecution's theory was illogical and didn't make sense. He denied Smith deliberately misrepresented Opes Prime's position.
"On the way they put the case it is a fundamental suicidal act both for the company and his own wealth," he said.
Mr Regan said the operation of Opes Prime was a legitimate business and the fact a company had collapsed did not mean anything criminal had happened.
"We say there is something fundamentally wrong with their case theory," he said.
When examining the events, jurors should remove the benefit of hindsight from their minds and try to imagine a deal being done at a time before the company collapsed, Mr Regan said.
He also urged jurors not to be daunted by the big dollar figures involved in the case.
Smith has pleaded not guilty to two counts of using his position as director dishonestly to gain advantage.
The trial before Justice Simon Whelan is continuing.