22/03/2010 - 11:11

Kizon cleared of insider trading

22/03/2010 - 11:11

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A District Court judge has today acquitted colourful Perth businessman John Kizon of all insider trading charges.

Kizon cleared of insider trading

A District Court judge has today acquitted colourful Perth businessman John Kizon of all insider trading charges.

Judge John Wiseby told a jury this morning that he had entered a verdict of acquittal on a string of insider trading charges relating to two dot-com companies in 2002.

Mr Kizon and associate, Nigel Mansfield, have both been on trial over the past two months, accused of using information not publicly available to trade in shares in two companies; Malcolm Day's adultshop.com and My Casino.

Judge Wiseby today also directed the jury to acquit Mr Mansfield of all but four insider trading charges. Mr Mansfield's trial continues.

In his published decision, Judge Wiseby said that the information Messrs Kizon and Mansfield were allegedly to have had "was not only untrue but demonstrably so".

"The absence of evidence from Malcolm Day, the chief executive officer of AdultShop; and Michael O'Donnell, the chief executive officer of MYC [My Casino]; being the persons responsible for providing the information to the accused who would have personal knowledge of its worth, has an obvious impact on this case," Judge Wiseby said.

"The 'information' acted upon must in general circumstances be a factual reality."

Outside court, Mr Kizon's lawyer Stephen Shirrefs said the acquittal verdicts on all charges against his client showed "the judge agreed there was a fatal defect in the case".

Both Mr Kizon and Mansfield had pleaded not guilty to nine counts of criminally conspiring to commit insider trading offences and a raft of insider trading counts.

Prosecutors alleged the offences took place between January 6 and July 12 in 2002, and the charges were brought by the Australian Crime Commission in 2004.

The prosecution argued the pair possessed market-sensitive information about Adultshop.com and My Casino and bought and sold shares in those companies to make money.

The court had heard that the pair became aware Adultshop was expected to post a profit of $11 million in the 2002 financial year, up from $3 million the previous year, after its turnover lifted from about $50 million to $111 million.

The trial, before a jury, continues tomorrow to hear the remaining four insider trading charges against Mr Mansfield.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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