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Judges
12 December, 2007  
The Mensch has no case to answer: Barker

Committal hearing – day two. Marcus Einfeld’s barrister fails to cross-examine key prosecution witness about the former judge’s mobile phone calls on the fateful day his car was caught on camera speeding in Mosman. According to the defence the police timing of the car’s movements is all wrong


Marcus Einfeld’s barrister has told the Downing Centre Local Court his client has no case to answer “as a matter of law” in relation to three traffic offences committed before 2006.

imageThe Mensch faces charges of perverting the course of justice and making a false instrument over incidents in 1999 and 2003.

Ian Barker QC (pic) also told Chief Deputy Magistrate Helen Syme that no jury would be satisfied that the former judge was driving his car on January 8, 2006 when it was clocked for speeding in Mosman.

As well as perverting the course of justice and hindering an investigation, Einfeld is facing three charges of perjury in relation to the 2006 speeding incident.

Barker was summarising written submissions tendered today (Wednesday Dec. 12), a day in which one of the prosecution’s key witnesses, Sanjiv Ramachandran, was suddenly spared cross-examination.

Ramachandran was expected to give evidence in relation to records of The Mensch’s mobile phone calls on January 8, last year.

The prosecution says they prove he was in Mosman at 4.01pm when a speed camera in Macpherson Street captured his silver Lexus.

For much of the committal hearing The Mensch’s counsel has been at pains to illustrate that his client could not have been in the car because he didn’t leave Pilu restaurant until sometime after 3.41pm, the time his table was “closed”.

This seems to ignore the possibility The Mensch was actually speeding.

Nevertheless, much has been made of how long Einfeld and his luncheon partner Vivian Schenker took to leave Freshwater.

imageSchenker testified yesterday that they spent about 10 minutes talking to Sky TV news presenter John Mangos (pic), before they left Pilu.

She recalled they then wandered near the beach “reminiscing about her childhood”. Although Schenker claimed her memory was “imperfect” she estimated the stroll lasted about half an hour.

Fraud squad detective Troy Stenberg told the court he had allowed only three-and-a-half minutes for the walk in his re-enactment of The Mensch’s alleged journey from Freshwater to Pyrmont.

Today Mangos confirmed Einfeld and Schenker stopped to talk on their way out, sometime between 3.30pm and 4.00pm.

He said they talked for about five minutes “about Israel”, because Mangos and his wife were planning a trip there. He couldn’t be accurate but thought it was “sometime after 3.56 pm”.

Re-examined by the Deputy Senior Crown prosecutor Wayne Roser SC, Mangos conceded it could have been 3.30pm.

Pilu’s restaurant manager Grant Burtenshaw testified that The Mensch paid his lunch bill ($163.35) on Visa at 3.34pm.

Magistrate Syme will hear final submissions tomorrow.

See yesterday’s coverage of the committal.

Crown’s opening submission.