Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Charges against bankrupt developer to be withdrawn

Christchurch property developer David Henderson.
Christchurch property developer David Henderson.

Prosecutors want to formally withdraw charges filed against bankrupt Christchurch property developer David Ian Henderson.

A high-profile property developer whose battle with Inland Revenue spawned a book and a movie, Henderson was bankrupted for a second time in November 2010 with debts totalling more than $140 million.

The Official Assignee - the Crown authority that manages bankruptcies - had filed charges against Henderson for allegedly misleading authorities and obtaining credit of more than $1000 while bankrupt.

However, documents filed with the Christchurch District Court this morning by Crown lawyer Christopher Lange said the prosecution now sought leave to withdraw the charges.
In this memo to the court, Lange said the view had been reached that the process followed in taking the prosecution "may not meet the formal requirements".

"For completeness it remains the view of the prosecution that there was sufficient evidence for the proceedings to have been commenced and otherwise continued," Lange said.

But the Crown lawyer said the prosecution would not seek to re-file the charges.

Henderson, who had earlier called the charges "nonsense", said today they were "malicious".

"The charges in my view were always malicious and always maliciously brought," he said.

The Herald revealed in January that OA was opposing Henderson's automatic release from bankruptcy.

The OA said this means Henderson would remain an undischarged bankrupt until his affairs had been examined in the High Court, due to happen on June 9.

- NZ Herald

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