Disgraced former deputy mayor property tycoon Salim Mehajer was sued in court for $6.2million just two days before he was found guilty of assaulting a Channel Seven reporter, it can be revealed.
The company that excavated the site of his multimillion-dollar development Skypoint Towers in Lidcome, West Sydney
has taken legal action to make sure it gets back money it lent to Mehajer.
Ace Demolition and Excavation’s case, which was lodged with the NSW Supreme Court on February 2, made its first appearance on Tuesday.
Two days later Mehajer was found guilty of assaulting reporter Laura Banks by slamming a car door on to her outside a Sydney police station last year.
The Skypoint Towers development of 141 flats and 16 offices turned sour in June when two companies Mehajer used for the project – Sydney Project Group and SET Services – went bust with total debts of more than $100million.
Ace demolition is one of the creditors and is demanding its $6.2million back.
The company is also suing Mehajer’s sisters – Khadijer ‘Kat’ Mehajer and Zenah Osman – who were named directors of the companies after he was banned from managing co-corporations by ASIC in 2016, reported The Daily Telegraph.
On Thursday, Mehajer was found guilty of assault occasioning bodily harm against Ms Banks in an incident that left her with hand and back injuries.
In sentencing, Magistrate Joanne Keogh criticised the behaviour of a media pack at the police station but still ordered a conviction to be recorded against Mehajer.
Ms Keogh also criticised evidence given by Ms Banks calling her ‘a witness of little credit’ and ‘not a witness that has stood up to the scrutiny of cross-examination’.
The incident took place outside Day Street police station on April 2 last year, where Mehajer had been taken early that morning after allegedly assaulting a taxi driver.
In court on Monday to enter a not guilty plea, Mehajer said he felt ‘cornered, bullied and harassed’ by a media pack moments before he slammed the door on Ms Banks.
The court heard Mehajer had traded insults with Ms Banks, who teased him about his height, after he asked if the jewellery she was wearing was a ring or a key ring.
‘It all happened very quickly and my only thought was to leave,’ Mehajer said of the door slamming.
‘As selfish as this may sound I wasn’t aware of the extent of the impact.’
Ms Banks had been standing in the doorway of the Porsche trying to quiz Mehajer on the incident when the assault occurred.
The court heard the pair had been trading verbal barbs before the incident, with Ms Banks asking the disgraced property developer if he had hit ‘rock bottom’.
Ms Banks, a former newspaper turned TV reporter, claimed her back was ‘still quite sore’ almost 12 months on from the incident.
She denied deliberately provoking Mehajer during their confrontation prior to the alleged assault.
The 31-year-old journalist even suggested Mehajer had been flirting with her when he asked: ‘Why are you attached to me?’
‘It was almost suggestive, flirtatious,’ Ms Banks told the court.
‘He was suggestive in some of his comments. Asking me to get in the back of his car felt like that was suggestive and (had) innuendo behind it.’
Mehajer is currently in jail without bail after being charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and perverting the course of justice following an allegedly faked car crash.
The tycoon was rushed to hospital, stopping the first day of his trial for allegedly assaulting a taxi driver, after his Mercedes supposedly crashed into a Mitsubishi Outlander on October 16.
On Monday, furniture, security cameras and a tanning bed were among several items removed from Salim Mehajer’s Vaucluse mansion as he languished in jail.
A group of men were seen loading the disgraced property developer’s possessions into a removal truck after Mehajer was ordered on Friday to pay $18,000 in back rent and given 21 days to vacate the property.
A massage chair, a washing machine and couches were also seen being loaded into the large white truck as a man used a drill to remove CCTV cameras.
His youngest sister Mary – a former Miss Lebanon Australia – has been living in the house since Mehajer was taken into police custody over claims he staged a car crash as an elaborate plot to avoid appearing in court on an assault charge.
On Friday, he was given 21 days to vacate the house in an order granted at the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal.