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Packer denies deceit at OneTel trial -

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(generated from captions) speaking to us. Thank you, Tracey. #6 Now to the continuing fallout from the collapse of the telephone company One.Tel back in 2001. After 10 days of sometimes gruelling cross-examination, media magnate James Packer spent his last session in the witness stand fending off accusations that he'd lied about his knowledge of the company's cashflow in its final days. The Corporate Regulator has brought civil charges against former executives Jodee Rich and Mark Silbermann for allegedly trading while insolvent and is seeking $92 million in damages. Today, James Packer said the relationship with his father, Kerry Packer, remained strong, despite One.Tel's demise. He denied trying to pin the blame for the company's failure on others to escape prosecution himself. Finance editor Emma Alberici reports.

Hello, Mr Packer. How has the One.

Hello, Mr Packer. How has the One.Tel experience affected your

relationship with your father?

I've got a fantastic relationship

with my father. And always have, Emma.

For a man whose family has made

For a man whose family has made much of its fortune from the prying

lenses of the paparazzi, James

Packer has been none too obliging

for the waiting press at the NSW

Supreme Court. In his 10th and

Supreme Court. In his 10th and final day in the witness stand, James

Packer denied giving an exaggerated

and untruthful account of just how

much he knew about the financial

health of One.Tel before its

collapse. It's simply 17.5 cents

collapse. It's simply 17.5 cents for all of your local calls. One.Tel

the brainchild of Jodee

the brainchild of Jodee Rich, James all of your local calls. One.Tel was

Packer's close mate since

N making his decision to invest in Packer's close mate since schooldays

the fledgling Telco in 1994, James

Packer said he looked at Telstra,

Optus and Vodafone and came to the

conclusion that they were worth

around $50 billion. It stood to

reason in his mind that a fourth

player in the market would also be

highly valued. He had a

with I think Mr Rich, Jodee Rich at highly valued. He had a conversation

his Palm Beach house where he

apparently said to - Mr Rich

recalled him saying, "I want to be

independent. I want to be a

billionaire and I can't seem to get

that independence. My father is

around. I think he said he dies and

he comes back and he dies and comes

back and he has nine lives. Words

that effect. But Mr James Packer back and he has nine lives. Words to

denies that conversation took place.

Journalist Anne Lampe has been

covering the One.Tel trial for 'The

Age' and the 'Sydney Morning

since it began in September last Age' and the 'Sydney Morning Herald'

Investments Commission is claiming year. The Australian Securities and

former One.Tel managing director

Jodee Rich and finance director

Silbermann continued to trade for Jodee Rich and finance director Mark

three months while they knew the

company was insolvent. The corp

regulator is seeking $92 million in company was insolvent. The corp race

civil penalties from the two. In

court, James Packer plain takened

played no part in the company's court, James Packer plain takened he

demise and was profoundly misled by

the management. If he read all of

the information and all of the

reports he'd got and done their job

appropriately he shouldn't have

profoundly misled, but right on top appropriately he shouldn't have been

of it. He may not have read all of

the information, he may not have

retained it or left it to other

people, but had he done his job as

director and watched the fntionz people, but had he done his job as a

position from all of that

information he should not have been

profoundly misled. As far back as

octd 2000, seven months before One.

One.Tel folded, James Packer's octd 2000, seven months before company publish

company Publishing and Broadcasting

sent its chief financial officer

Geoff Kleemann in to One.Tel the

analyse the company's accounts. In

April of the following year, two

more PBL finance executives were

installed at the One.Tel officers

review its finances. PBL and One. installed at the One.Tel officers to

also shared the same auditors in review its finances. PBL and One.Tel

Ernst & Young. James Packer was

executive chairman of PBL and at

same time a director on the One.Tel executive chairman of PBL and at the

board. So it was always going to be

difficult for him to prove he

know what was going on. Today, difficult for him to prove he didn't

council for the defence David

Williams alleged James Packer tried

to make the One.Tel financial

position seem a lot worse than it

was to get him out of an agreement

if 2001 to back an issue of more

shares with his own money. It's a shares with his own money. shares with his own money. It's

He was a shareholder and a director

right from the early stages and it

was his responsibility, along with

his colleagues on the board, to

satisfy themselves that the company

had proper control mechanisms and

proper information flows that would

allow the board to be satisfied.

Henry Bosch was head of the

Companies and Securities Commission, Henry Bosch was head of the National

the predecessor of ASIC. He's also

written a number of books on

corporate governance and has been a

curious observer of the One.Tel

trial. He believes ASIC should have

pursued all of the directors

for the company's troubles. I felt pursued all of the directors equally

that the directors collectively had

a responsibility to satisfy

themselves that the company was

being managed properly.

being managed properly and to put

place control mechanisms and being managed properly and to put in

that would enable them to know what place control mechanisms and systems

was really going on. Today in the

witness stand James Packer denied

making any deal with ASIC to escape

prosecution himself. Much of James

Packer's cross-examination centred

around the relationship with his

father and just how involved James

Packer was in One.Tel. But when it

came to Packer Senior's role, James

Packer's memory was hazy even about

a meeting held at Kerry Packer's

hospital bed. I must say if I was

called to a bedside meeting where

father was seriously ill and there called to a bedside meeting where my

were business matters discussed, I

think I'd remember it. But he had

very little recollection. In the

week that the Telco collapsed,

Packer admitted he was wandering week that the Telco collapsed, James

around shocked and dazed. When he

was asked if he add lost

he said it wasn't a boost to his was asked if he add lost credibility

credibility but the relationship

with his father hadn't suffered

it. with his father hadn't suffered over

He's very little rebtdion of any

time that they were in a meet

time that they were in a meeting

together or spoke together about

One.Tel. Mostly questioned about,

"Were you at this meeting? Was your

father there, was it discussed?"He

said, "I don't recall." In the

overall sense you get that it

a very comfortable relationship. overall sense you get that it wasn't

After 10 sometimes heated days of

cross-examination James Packer will

be happy to put this chapter of the

One.Tel debacle behind him. But the

case which was expected to last

three months has now run for 15 and case which was expected to last just

is expected to continue well into

the new year.