The fallen director of former Opes Prime, Julian Alexander Smith, on Friday told the Melbourne Magistrates Court he was representing himself on criminal charges because he could not afford a lawyer.
THE fallen director of former Opes Prime, Julian Alexander Smith, on Friday told the Melbourne Magistrates Court he was representing himself on criminal charges because he could not afford a lawyer.
Alexander has represented himself on the criminal charges relating to the fall of the stockbroking firm.
"It's a financial issue," Smith told magistrate Maurice Gurvich, who had inquired about the whereabouts of his lawyer, The Australian reports.
"My lack of representation is not by choice," Smith said. "I simply do not have the money to pay for it. I have an application for Victorian legal aid."
Smith is one of the three accused appearing in the court, with fellow Opes Prime directors Anthony Charles Blumberg and Lirim Emini.
The three former directors are not able to associate with one another. The Friday court appearance was the first time the former bosses have been seen together since the collapse of the firm in March 2008.
The three men appear to face four identical charges of breaching their responsibilities as directors on 20 March 2008, when they signed a contract on behalf of the financial lending firm with ANZ.
According to the charges brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the men had been "intentionally dishonest and failed to exercise powers and discharge duties in good faith in the best interests of Opes Prime Group Limited".