Vincentia man fined $16,000 over ‘secret’ recordings

George Anastasopoulos.
George Anastasopoulos.

A Shoalhaven-based developer who recorded a Shoalhaven City Councillor talking about a proposed development prior to the last local government election and then broadcast it on Facebook has appealed being fined $16,000 and placed on a good behaviour bond.

George Anastasopoulos, 49, of Vincentia appeared in Nowra Local Court on Monday, pleading not guilty to two charges, using a device to record a conversation and publishing a conversation obtained with surveillance devices.

Magistrate Gabriel Fleming found Anastasopoulos guilty of the offence and convicted him.

She fined him $8000 on each offence and placed him on an 18-month good behaviour bond.

Anastasopoulos has since appealed the decision.

Court papers said between July 11 and July 31, 2016,  Anastasopoulos met with veteran Shoalhaven councillor Greg Watson and used a listening device to record a private conversation with Cr Watson at his Woollamia home.

Court papers said Cr Watson did not consent to or have knowledge the recording was being made.

The recording, in the form of a video on a mobile phone, showed Cr Watson and Anastasopoulos discussing a proposed development for the Club Jervis Bay site at Huskisson.

The video later appeared on Facebook, which court papers said was without Cr Watson’s permission or knowledge.

The appeal is set down for October 15 in Nowra District Court.

Anastasopoulos will also face the charge of using a false document to influence exercise of public duty in Sydney Downing Centre on September 6.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Papers said the false document was an invoice from Select Print Solution for $1900, which Anastasopoulos allegedly presented, knowing it to be false, but for a person to accept it as genuine, to influence the exercise of public duty, an investigation by the NSW Electoral Commission.

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