One-time comedian Steve Vizard is still described as a funny man. Here are his best gags:

Gag 1: Vizard admits to use of confidential information and trading shares in three Telstra satellite companies – Sausage Software, Computershare and Keycorp – while a director of Telstra. (Applause).

Gag 2: Vizard cuts a deal with ASIC by pleading guilty to the civil charge of breach of director’s duty, which results in a ten-year ban on being a company director and fines of $390,000. (Cheers).

Gag 3: ASIC and the Director of Public Prosecutions reveal that the decision not to prosecute Vizard is based on the refusal by the central witness Greg Lay — Vizard’s accountant and the man who carried out his orders to implement the insider trading — to sign a witness statement. (Muted clapping).

Gag 4: But Lay does give evidence about the share trading — in the Supreme Court case which finished this week and involved Westpac suing Vizard’s bookkeeper Roy Hilliard for not being authorised to take the money from Vizard’s accounts. (Muttering).

Gag 5: Supreme Court judge, Justice Hartley Hansen, describes Vizard as having “a lack of candour”, of being “defensive and forgetful and even engaged in false denial when it did not suit the case” and of giving evidence in court which “ranged from false denial to obfuscation and feigned forgetfulness”. (Loud cheers).

The only problem with this performance is that there’s nothing funny about ASIC’s inexplicable failure to prosecute a grotesque case of insider trading when there’s a willing witness, conflicting court evidence from Vizard, and another bout of criticism of Vizard’s credibility by an eminent judge.

(Boos).

Peter Fray

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