The rumours are circulating that the man who dropped a bucket on Steve
Vizard, his former accountant Roy Hilliard, is about to do a deal with
the Victorian DPP which would be manna from heaven for the former
comedian who is slated to give evidence when the trial commences next
week.

As we saw this morning, Vizard didn’t want to find himself back in the
stand, so his contribution was confined to a written statement read out
by his counsel, James Judd QC, this morning.

John Faine told ABC listeners yesterday morning that he bumped into
Steve Vizard in Queen Street this week and the disgraced businessman
gave Faine permission to point out that he is meant to be giving
evidence in
the trial next week, something which constrains his ability to comment.
Camp Vizard has apparently been working hard to bring the Hilliard
matter to a close, with reports leaked to the press that Westpac had
made good for $2 million of the $3 million that was allegedly stolen by
Vizard.

However, you can’t contract out a crime and given the backlash against
the Commonwealth DPP for not recommending criminal insider trading
charges against Vizard, it would be a brave Victorian DPP who would
wind back the charges against Hilliard, in return for a guilty plea
that also avoided both Greg Lay and Vizard giving evidence next week.

Read the transcript from Hilliard’s committal and you’ll see that Lay
gave damaging and detailed evidence confirming Vizard’s share trading
and his desire to keep it secret. The other interesting feature of the
case is whether Vizard’s agreed statement of fact is admissible in any
court case. There is some suggestion that it isn’t. After all, why on
earth would Vizard leave himself so exposed to what looks like an open
and shut case of perjury?

Several legal sources have suggested to Crikey that the Laurie Connell
case is instructive as regulators juggle with the perception that
they’ve gone soft and done a special deal. Connell and the jockey he
paid to stay out of the country were both charged with conspiring to
pervert the course of justice.

Could authorities do the same to Vizard and his accountant? Food for
thought indeed given the talk that Hilliard’s deal could happen as
early as today.

Peter Fray

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