Developer’s drastic action to restrain CCC probe

A MELBOURNE developer embroiled in an Ipswich corruption probe has taken the extraordinary step of trying to legally restrain the CCC from charging him.

Chris Pinzone, 36, has taken the Crime and Corruption Commission to the Queensland Supreme Court in an effort to restrain the crime fighting body from prosecuting him.

In an application, obtained by The Courier-Mail, Pinzone is seeking a court order for the CCC to "be restrained from proceeding further in the prosecution of any charges" against him until certain conditions are met.

Conditions include that Pinzone's lawyers are able to cross-examine "all witnesses previously called in the corruption hearing of (former Ipswich mayor) Paul Pisasale."

He also wants the application heard in closed court and for the CCC to provide him transcripts of the evidence provided by all witnesses who were interviewed by the watchdog about Pisasale's activities and any link they may have to Mr Pinzone.

Mr Pinzone has also asked for the CCC to be ordered to pay his legal costs.

The Melbourne developer was behind a multi-million dollar Ipswich project at the centre of corruption allegations against Pisasale, who has been charged with corruption.

Mr Pinzone has kept a low profile since controversy erupted over his hotel meeting with Pisasale in May 2017, at which the then lively mayor was handed $50,000 cash by an unidentified man.

Chris Pinzone, 36, has taken the Crime and Corruption Commission to the Queensland Supreme Court
Chris Pinzone, 36, has taken the Crime and Corruption Commission to the Queensland Supreme Court

He has run pizzerias and once outlined in court a $5.2 million portfolio that includes seven properties and two eateries. Further, he swore he lent a business partner $30,000 for 25 days, charging a $3000 fee.

But it was his plan to build a development at Ipswich's Yamanto comprising a service station, childcare centre, fast food eatery and restaurant that is central to the Pisasale allegations.

Pisasale was on August 10 this year charged with corruption by the CCC over allegations he "agreed to champion the Yamanto project for himself" by influencing council employees and private contractors between November 2016 and May 2017.

Council registers show contact between the two: Pinzone's company CJP Qld had held multiple meetings with Pisasale in Queensland and interstate.

 

Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale is facing corruption and fraud charges after being investigated by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale is facing corruption and fraud charges after being investigated by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

 

There was also in October 2016 a meeting when Pinzone and barrister Sam Di Carlo met with Pisasale at the Cucina Vivo Italian restaurant at the Star Gold Coast Casino.

Di Carlo himself is also facing a corruption charge over the Yamanto project, and was entangled in the $50,000 cash handover in Melbourne last year. The lawyer insisted he had asked Pisasale to carry the $50,000 back to Brisbane for a Chinese client's legal settlement and the money was unrelated to Pinzone.

Pisasale was stopped at Melbourne airport with the cash on May 13 last year.

Only a month later, the mayor announced his resignation in a hospital gown citing medical problems. It was a day after a CCC raid on his office.

Mr Pinzone has refused to comment on the CCC investigation to date.