REVEALED: Why disgraced mayor’s appeal was thrown out
COURT of Appeal judges found no error in jury directions while weighing up the appeal of disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale.
Mr Pisasale, Chinese escort Yutian Li and lawyer Cameron James McKenzie appealed their extortion convictions in November last year, arguing the trial judge erred in directing the jury.
The Court of Appeal dismissed their applications in March but their findings were published on Wednesday.
The trio were convicted July last year over a plot to steal money from Ms Li's ex-boyfriend after their relationship ended.
Posing as a private investigator, Mr Pisasale called Ms Li's ex-boyfriend and demanded up to $10,000.
He then arranged for Mr McKenzie to send Ms Li's ex-boyfriend a letter of demand for more costs.
In his findings, Justice Philip Morrison said the jury were adequately directed about the reasonable cause of Mr Pisasale and Mr McKenzie.
He said Mr Pisasale's defence did not meet the threshold for reasonable cause.
"The jury could not have misunderstood that they needed to consider the proffered states of belief," Justice Morrison said.
"The only belief advanced in evidence on behalf of Mr Pisasale was his belief that Ms Li was entitled to compensation for costs she had incurred.
"Belief in each case was central to the defence and squarely put as the actual motivation for what was done."
Justice Morrison said Mr McKenzie did not have reasonable cause to make the demands in his letter.
He said Mr Pisasale "encouraged, aided and joined in sending that letter" by providing information and addresses.