Achilles Constantinidis, Ian Lazar have guilty verdicts overturned

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Businessman, Achilles “Big Al” Constantinidis, and mortgage lender, Ian Lazar, have won an appeal against a court finding two years ago that they were guilty of ­intending to pervert the course of justice.

Constantinidis and Lazar were convicted in 2020 of attempting to influence a police officer over an investigation into a $50,000 gold bar.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Constantinidis and Lazar were said to have procured a stand-over man, Witness B, to improperly influence a detective who was investigating the provenance of the gold bar, which belonged to Mr Lazar and was discovered during a vehicle stop in Sydney’s inner west.

Ian Lazar (right) leaves the Downing Centre with lawyer Bryan Wrench in 2020. Credit: Georgina Mitchell.

Witness B claimed Mr Lazar paid him in a stack of bills eight centimetres high to get the detective to leave him alone, and claimed Mr Constantinidis told him: “Do whatever it takes. Break his legs, break his arm. Do whatever it takes, just get rid of him. Get him out of the way.”

But on Friday, the Court of Criminal Appeal raised doubts about the evidence of this key witness and quashed the previous convictions, finding each man not guilty.

Justices Fabian Gleeson, Des Fagan and Julia Lonergan determined that the guilty verdicts were unreasonable and not supported by the evidence.

FULL STORY: The Sydney Morning Herald.

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