19 Jan 2011

Former Bridgecorp director seeks legal aid

8:01 pm on 19 January 2011

The Shareholders Association says former Bridgecorp director Rod Petricevic has shown an amazing lack of ethics in applying for legal aid.

The finance company collapsed in 2007, owing investors more than $450 million.

Mr Petricevic and another former director are facing charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office relating to the misuse of funds totalling about $5 million.

His case has been delayed so his lawyer can fight a decision to deny him legal aid.

Shareholders Association chair John Hawkins believes Mr Petricevic is just trying to put off "the day of reckoning" and is trying to get the case thrown out by claiming that he can not be adequately represented.

Mr Hawkins says if the former director is so confident of his innocence, he should let his family trust pay the legal bills, then claim costs back from the court.

Bridgecorp investor Barry Keon says he lost about $100,000 when the company collapsed and can not believe Mr Petricevic is applying for assistance, when so many people have lost money.

Mr Keon says it will set a terrible precedent if legal aid is granted.

Another investor, Bruce Cornwell, lost about $30,000 in Bridgecorp and believes Mr Petricevic is just trying to stall the court process.

"The guy would try any trick in the book to get the case thrown out, to get away with it. I just hope that the judge involved does not listen."

Mr Cornwell says losing his retirement savings has meant major changes to his lifestyle.