The place to be

It would seem the place to be on Monday, 9 November, is court room 20 D of the law courts building in Queen Square, Sydney. Justice Antony Siopsis is scheduled to hear matter WAD195/2009 – ASIC V Timothy Francis Johnston – at 2pm, with video links to the Federal Court in Perth (11am) and Brisbane (1pm). As I reported in the SMH today, this is the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s attempt to keep Firepower mastermind Tim Johnston in the country until such time as they get around asking him how his company collapsed so spectacularly. According to court documents filed in Perth, such orders would allow ASIC to complete a three-year investigation that could lead to civil and criminal action. The orders would give Firepower liquidator Bryan Hughes, investors and creditors an opportunity to take action to recover losses. Of course none of this would even be happening if Johnston hadn’t come back, of his own accord, on Monday. Yet one can’t help but wonder if he will turn up to the court in person, given the trouble the liquidator is having serving Johnston with another order asking him to appear before a public examination on 26 November. On that date, Registrar June Eaton is due to conduct a public examination involving Johnston at the Federal Court in Perth at 10.15am. Johnston reportedly has however complied with a court order to hand over his passport.

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