Accused fraudster Ian Lazar may never face various criminal charges after District Court judge John Pickering last week ruled the businessman mentally unfit to stand trial.
Lazar has been on bail awaiting trial since he was discharged from the Mosman Private Hospital Mood Disorders Unit last year, a facility he had been moved to after successfully defeating police efforts to keep him in custody while awaiting trial on 13 fraud-related charges.
A well known referrer to Sydney’s insolvency practitioners, Lazar has previously been diagnosed as Bipolar II Disorder-hypomanic phase and according to a court judgment first presented to his treating psychologist with “grandiose ideas relating to his legal knowledge and photographic memory”.
Justice Pickering referred Lazar to the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT), a body Lazar’s sometimes barrister Greg James QC used to oversee as president.
The MHRT will review whether Lazar is permanently unfit which could mean he will have special hearings on the various criminal matters he’s facing.
If the Tribunal however concludes that Lazar may respond to treatment his trials will be postponed for possibly 12 months.
Meanwhile Lazar will remain on bail and it will be up to his legal representatives to advise police of what if any business activities he is conducting. Too mad for trial but fit for business? Surely not.
Justice Pickering made various orders which we have obtained and republish in full below.
R v Ian David Lazar
Date of Listing: 20 Feb 2018 before Judge J Pickering at District Court – Crime, Sydney Downing Centre
2014/00320266-011 / Actual offence – Dishonestly obtain financial advantage etc by deception-T1 / 55949406
Charge not included on Indictment (ID 41153981)
2014/00320266-027 / Actual offence – Obtain money etc by deception >$15000-T1 /
2014/00320266-028 / Actual offence – Knowingly deal with proceeds of crime-SI / 55949406
2014/00320266-029 / Actual offence – Fraudulently omit to account money >$15000 / 55949406
2014/00320266-030 / Actual offence – Dishonestly obtain financial advantage etc by deception-T1 / 55949406
2014/00320266-031 / Actual offence – Steal cattle / 55949406
2014/00320266-032 / Actual offence – Publish etc false misleading material to obtain property-T1 / 55949406
Accused is unfit for trial – referred to Mental Health Review Tribunal.
1. I find the accused unfit to be tried.
2. In accordance with s 14 of the Mental Health (Criminal Procedure) Act 1990, I refer this matter to the Mental Health Review Tribunal.
3. I direct the court registry to provide the following documentation to the Tribunal:
a. a copy of this finding
b. a transcript of these proceedings
c. a copy of any psychiatric reports tendered to the court during these proceedings
d. a copy of any additional reports tendered as evidence to the court pertaining the person’s fitness to stand trial
I make a non-publication order in respect of the reports until the decision of the Mental Health Review Tribunal
Liberty for Crown to relist pending result of MHRT