We love a good court transcript at Crikey and thoroughly enjoyed this exchange when former NRMA Ltd chairman Ross “Sir Lunchalot” Turnbull was in the box during Richard Talbot’s defamation action against Piers Akerman last month. Check out this tortuous exchange just to find out how much of Turnbull’s member-funded credit card binge was later repaid.

Barrister: No, forget about the board meeting now. You’ve agreed with me that in the first five months you’d run up some $90,000 on the expense account?
Turnbull: M’mm.

Barrister: Yes, and you agreed at some time after you’d incurred the expenditure to pay some of it back, didn’t you?
Turnbull: Well I don’t like the term, agreed.

Barrister: All right. Did you indicate that you would pay some of it back?
Turnbull: No, I did.

Barrister: Yes, and how much of it did you pay back?
Turnbull: Whatever the figure was.

Barrister: What was it?
Turnbull: In relation to the credit card situation all matters on the credit card were approved by the board, were approved by the internal audit, Deloittes, and were investigated by ASIC, and that was it, done. So I don’t know if that helps you?

Barrister: Not particularly, I’d have to say.
Turnbull: Good.

Barrister: Yes, because that is your attitude, isn’t it, you don’t want to help me, do you, Mr Turnbull?
Turnbull: I’ll help you in any way I can, sir.

Barrister: Why did you say “good” then?
Turnbull: Say?

Barrister: Why did you say “good”, when I said it didn’t help me?
Turnbull: I’m happy to help you in any way I can.

Barrister: All right. What was the amount of the $90,000 that you paid back?
Turnbull: $50,000.

Peter Fray

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