Prosecutors will continue to pursue a criminal case against three failed finance company directors after a their nine-month long trial was aborted.

However no further action will be taken against a fourth director who was also defending charges.

Paul Bublitz, Bruce McKay, Richard Blackwood and Lance Morrison went on trial in the Auckland High Court last August for what was originally meant to be a 12-week case.

McKay and Blackwood served as directors of Viaduct Capital while Morrison and Bublitz were on Mutual Finance's board.


The firms went into receivership in 2010, owing investors $17 million.

Richard Blackwood. Photo / NZ Herald
Richard Blackwood. Photo / NZ Herald

Bublitz, according to prosecutors when the trial began last August, allegedly used the two finance companies to support his property investments.

The other defendants in the case were accused of helping him. All four deny the allegations against them.

The trial, before Justice Mark Woolford without a jury, stretched on much longer than expected and the number of charges was whittled down to try to contain it.

However, the four directors successfully applied to abort the trial last month after thousands of documents were provided to the defence late.

Justice Woolford said the Crown was clearly in breach of the disclosure rules.

"There is, however, no suggestion that the disclosure breaches arose out of any bad faith on the part of the Crown," the judge said.

"Non-compliance with disclosure obligations was inadvertent.


"Nonetheless, the scope of non-compliance was extensive. The volume of late disclosure is seemingly unprecedented in New Zealand," he said.

Bruce McKay. Photo / Supplied
Bruce McKay. Photo / Supplied

While it was unclear whether the four men would face further action, the Financial Markets Authority has confirmed it will pursue a case against Bublitz, Blackwood and McKay.

Morrison, on the other hand, was discharged after a High Court hearing last week and will not face any further action.

Lance Morrison. Photo / NZ Herald
Lance Morrison. Photo / NZ Herald

The Herald understands no final decision has been made about what charges will remain in the case, which is due to come before a judge again early next month.

Bublitz's lawyer, Rachael Reed, said her was client was disappointed with the decision.

"Mr Bublitz is very disappointed that the Crown is seeking to retry him given the Crown has wasted millions of dollars of public and private funds in the first trial. If the Court determines that a second trial should be held then it will be rigorously defended," she said.

Shane Kilian, Blackwood's lawyer, said his client "was obviously disappointed that he has to go through this process again.

"Particularly given he's already spent more than nine months in a trial that was a aborted through no fault of the defendants. He's committed to defending the charges against him and would like to see the matter come to an end so he can move forward with his life," Kilian said.

McKay's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.