Pratt’s legal team launches stinging attack on Graeme Samuel

Could Richard Pratt escape criminal charges because he had been set up? This is what Pratt’s lawyers are banking on as they mount a concerted effort to turn Pratt into the victim of a zealous ACCC pursuing an agenda.

Could Richard Pratt escape criminal charges because he had been set up? This is what Pratt’s lawyers are banking on as they mount a concerted effort to turn Pratt into the victim of a zealous ACCC pursuing an agenda.

Last year the billionaire admitted that his company Visy was involved in a cartel with Amcor.

The price-fixing cartel is estimated to have cost customers – many of them small businesses – an estimated $300 million to $700 million.

In June four criminal charges were brought against Pratt for giving false and misleading evidence during an ACCC examination about the cartel in 2005.

But now the billionaire is claiming he was set up as part of a calculated plan by competition watchdog head Graeme Samuel to push an agenda.

QC Robert Richter told the court that preliminary evidence reveals the ACCC had planned criminal prosecutions as early as 2005 and Samuel had personally pushed the charges long before the civil case was settled.

“Mr Samuel for some years has been agitating for the criminality of cartel conduct… this is part of his agenda,” Richter told the court. “The case should be struck out as an abuse of process,” he said.

The prosecutor, Mark Dean, rejected the allegations and says that baseless allegations have been made.

Meanwhile Pratt’s lawyers have served subpoenas in order to flush out material to support their allegations.

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