Ex-wife of National Finance boss in court
National Finance director Carol Braithwaite has been granted a jury trial.
Justice Pamela Andrews has just granted the application by Ms Braithwaite's lawyer Quentin Duff at Auckland High Court.
The trial will start on Monday and is set down for two weeks at Auckland High Court.
It is understod to be the first prosecution of a finance company director to be heard by a jury.
Justice Andrews said she was granting the application "with trepidation".
The Crown opposed the application - a jury trial is expected to take longer than a judge-alone trial because the jury will require educating on complex financial statements.
Justice Andrews said her main reason for granting the jury trial was that there was a jury available next week and Ms Braithwaite's lawyer, who made the application on the grounds of public interest, had given assurances the trial could be completed within the two-week timeframe.
"This jury is going to be kept busy," Justice Andrews said.
10.30am: Not-guilty plea
The former wife of jailed National Finance boss Allan Ludlow has pleaded not guilty to misleading investors.
Carol Braithwaite is in Auckland High Court today, facing one charge of making untrue statements in the financier's prospectus.
The charge, brought by the Financial Markets Authority, carries a maximum penalty on conviction of five years' imprisonment or a fine of up to $300,000.
Ms Braithwaite is the last of four National Finance directors to face prosecution for their part in the finance company's May 2006 collapse, which left some 2020 investors $25.5 million out of pocket.
Director Anthony Banbrook, who was to be tried alongside Ms Braithwaite, entered a last-minute guilty plea to the charge last month. He will be sentenced next month.
The financier's accountant John Gray pleaded guilty to theft by a person in a special relationship and one charge of false accounting in November 2010 and was sentenced to a term of 18 months' imprisonment, later reduced after an appeal to nine months' home detention.
Ludlow, the firm's managing director and sole shareholder, was sentenced to six-years and four months in jail in October last year after being found guilty of false accounting and theft by a person in a special relationship.
Ms Braithwaite and Mr Ludlow separated in 2008.
This morning, Ms Braithwaite's lawyer Quentin Duff argued for her to be tried by a jury, instead of judge-alone.
An earlier application for a jury trial was rejected last month.
Justice Pamela Andrews has adjourned this morning's proceedings to make her decision.
A jury trial would be longer than a judge-alone trial.