News Ltd’s Terry McCrann can sometimes
be like a dog with a bone. Lindsay Fox was so infuriated over McCrann’s
attacks against his mate Solly Lew when the Yannon scandal blew up at
Coles Myer in the mid-1990s that he took out ads in The Age attacking the bearded burbler for writing no fewer than 40 columns on the topic.

And
so it is with Steve Vizard, who has now received five separate lashings
in print from McCrann, including another almighty hit this morning,
accusing the former funny man of a “spectacular own goal” for leaving
the country after doing his deal with ASIC which has now “turned so
devastatingly pear-shaped.”

McCrann names and shames his rival business commentators more than anyone and today he took aim at The Age’s Stephen Bartholomeusz for this column
on 5 July. However, surprisingly Bartho wasn’t named when McCrann
wrote: “And indeed on day one, it did seem like a good idea. One
prominent commentator actually expressed sadness that ‘someone of
Vizard’s character and energy could have been caught up in such a messy
and unpleasant situation’.”

Check out all McCrann’s Herald Sun efforts, although this list excludes a good Vizard column in The Weekend Australian which isn’t online:

Green light on insiders – 5 July
ASIC heading for ACCC’s departure point – 6 July
Insider trading reveals double standards – 10 July
Vizard saga: own goals galore – 14 July

Today
McCrann talks about “the possible state perjury charges” and states
baldly that “the furore will send the various authorities after him on
that sworn evidence with a vigour that would not have been the case
otherwise.”

The best Vizard read we’ve seen so far was from Kate Askew in the SMH,
when she took the trouble to reproduce the transcript of what looks
like a clear cut case of perjury by Vizard in the earlier 2003
committal hearing for Vizard’s allegedly crooked accountant Roy
Hilliard:

“I’m going to put to you squarely in a minute that you have
systematically engaged in using private information for the purposes of
your own personal gain. What do you say to that?” came the bombshell
from Hilliard’s barrister, Peter Hayes, QC, that morning.

In that instant, Steven William Vizard, then 47, made the decision to commit perjury.

“No,” he replied.

Shortly
after Hayes began his systematic attack. “Do you remember getting
someone to buy shares on your behalf, but not in your name, in Sausage,
to take advantage of what you knew about Telstra’s plans?”

This time Vizard was more emphatic in his performance. “Absolutely not.”

“You deny that, do you?” shot back Hayes.

“Yes,” replied Vizard.

“On your oath?” continued Hayes. “I do,” said Vizard.

“I take it you’ve been advised of the laws of perjury?” queried Hayes, taking a different tack.

“I’m aware of them,” Vizard responded.

Vizard
had clearly been caught off-guard. He did not claim privilege over the
evidence he gave at the committal hearing, which contradicts the
admissions he made in an agreed statement of facts to the corporate
regulator.

CRIKEY: Looks like a pretty open and shut case when you contrast it with this ASIC statement,
don’t you think? If the Commonwealth DPP couldn’t get the job done,
let’s hope his Victorian counterpart has a little more fortitude.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW