Confidential documents from Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission relating to a Melbourne property developer’s appearance at a CCC hearing were found during a raid of Brisbane barrister Sam Di Carlo’s house, a court has heard.
The allegations were aired during an application in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to vary Di Carlo’s bail conditions for charges of perjury, possessing ammunition without authority, and unlawful possession of illicit drugs, as part of a CCC investigation into his dealings with former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale.
The court heard the documents related to an appearance by Melbourne developer Chris Pinzone in front of the CCC.
Police applied to the court to extend 60-year-old Di Carlo’s contact ban to one of his instructing solicitors Craig Stevenson, because Mr Stevenson was acting for Mr Pizone.
Di Carlo’s barrister Craig Eberhardt told the court that the CCC had no evidence that there was any sinister reason that the confidential documents were at Di Carlo’s house.
“You are aware though, aren’t you, that Mr Di Carlo does a great deal of work for Mr Stevenson’s firm?” Mr Eberhardt told the court.
Di Carlo was prevented two weeks ago from contacting six witnesses or suspects in the investigation as part of his bail undertaking, including Pisasale, his employee Qi Wang, and his client Hui Tian, who is in custody on allegations of fraud.
Mr Eberhardt told the court the lack of contact with clients and colleagues was severely affecting his client’s legal practice.
Prosecution concerned Di Carlo would interfere with witnesses
Police prosecutor Sergeant Kevin Carmont said police were concerned Di Carlo would interfere with those people, as they were part of a CCC investigation.
“The web entwines through several levels,” Sergeant Carmont said.
“It is quite plausible these people will be called as witnesses or as co-defendants in this case.”
Mr Eberhardt told the court there was no evidence to suggest Di Carlo was at risk of influencing the witnesses.
“Ms Wang instructs my client in a large number of matters that are coming up for trial in the near future,” Mr Eberhardt said.
Di Carlo was cross-examined in court and said his preparation for his upcoming trials had been very difficult for the two weeks he has not been allowed to speak to Ms Wang.
“I couldn’t prepare in time without her,” Di Carlo said.
Magistrate Terry Gardiner granted Di Carlo access to Ms Wang and two others again, but made a new order to prevent him from speaking to Mr Stevenson due to his involvement with the investigation.
Claim CCC ‘tipped off’ media
Mr Eberhardt also accused the CCC of allowing the media to be present in court.
“No doubt they were tipped off by the Crime and Misconduct [sic] Commission,” he said.
Sergeant Carmont replied: “Your Honour, I’m not sure about that.”
“How else could they have possibly known?” Mr Eberhardt said.
Mr Gardiner asked: “What’s your point, Mr Eberhardt?”
Mr Eberhardt replied that he intended to make an application for details of the CCC’s bail affadavit not to be published by the media.
The application was refused.
The ABC was aware of the matter because Di Carlo’s name was on the publicly available Magistrates Court appearance list.
Di Carlo came to prominence earlier this year when he claimed that the $50,000 cash then-Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale was arrested with was for him.
He said Mr Pisasale was helping to collect the money from an interstate client.