Former Commonwealth Bank of Australia IT executive Jon Waldron is unlikely to stand trial before May 2020 at the earliest.
Waldron had been committed to stand trial in October this year for allegedly accepting kickbacks in return for awarding a CBA contract to US company ServiceMesh (which has since been acquired by CSC).
Waldron and another former CBA exec, Keith Hunter, were arrested and charged in 2015. They were accused of being part of a complex scheme involving a not-for-profit organisation established by ServiceMesh founder Eric Pulier. Waldron has rejected the accusations.
Last year he was committed to stand trial in early 2019. At the request of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the trial date was pushed back to October 2019.
Judge Helen Syme today vacated the date for the trial in the interests of fairness. The DPP is yet to complete compiling its evidence in the complex case and would have only been able to deliver it to Waldron’s lawyers shortly before the scheduled 14 October trial date.
It would be an intolerable burden for the defence if evidence the prosecution intended to rely on was served only two or three weeks before the trial, the judge found.
Judge Syme said she would manage future conduct of the matter, with a case management hearing to be held later this year. No further trial date has been set but it is expected to be May next year at the earliest due to the judge’s availability to preside over what is anticipated to be a six-week trial.
In December, US charges against Waldron and Pulier related to the allegations were dismissed with prejudice at the request of the US Department of Justice, meaning that the former CBA employee will not face the same charges in the future.
“From the beginning, Jon has steadfastly maintained his innocence,” Nyman Gibson Miralis partner Phillip Gibson, who has been acting for Waldron, said at the time. “The dismissal of these charges in the United States is consistent with this.”
"We are pleased that the US DOJ, after a comprehensive investigation spanning more than three years, has dropped its case,” Gibson said.
“As the US Attorney’s Office wrote in its motion to dismiss the indictment with prejudice, this decision is truly 'in the interests of justice'. Our client appreciates the USAO’s decision.”
Hunter was sentenced to three and a half years’ prison in 2016 on bribery charges.