Salim Mehajer abandons bankruptcy fight

Salim Mehajer's debts include an $8.6 million tax bill. (AAP)

A federal court has heard Salim Mehajer has "no assets" and is refusing to pay lawyers, with the Sydney businessman abandoning his bankruptcy annulment bid.

Salim Mehajer has abandoned a bid to have his bankruptcy annulled after a judge slammed the disgraced Sydney businessman for seeking to have the case adjourned "at the eleventh hour".

But the embattled property developer plans to launch a fresh application in the Federal Court which on Thursday heard he had "no assets" and is refusing to pay lawyers.

The 32-year-old, whose debts include an $8.6 million tax bill, unsuccessfully applied to have the two-day hearing delayed before his local court electoral fraud sentencing due on Friday.

"This isn't a suburban golf club where fixtures are changed at the whim of participants," Justice Michael Lee said.

The court heard Mehajer has churned through five legal teams since mid-2017 over the dispute with a previous lawyer claiming he's owed more than $15,000.

"Why is it that at the eleventh hour, at one minute to midnight, he is determined to change his legal representatives?" Justice Lee asked.

"There's not a jot or a tittle of evidence in the affidavit as to why steps weren't taken to fit the timetable."

Speaking with a croaky voice while giving evidence, Mehajer said his previous lawyer Eidan Havas was sacked because he was "incompetent", but Justice Lee found no basis for such an accusation.

"It's very easy to make allegations under absolute privilege ... he's got a right to his reputation," the judge said.

Mr Havas later told the court he'd represented Mehajer in 20 different criminal and civil proceedings but was forced to terminate his retainer.

"I am unfunded. I have been unpaid. Some bills are in excess of $15,000," he said.

Mehajer was declared bankrupt in March while in jail and this week police raided eight properties linked to the former Auburn deputy mayor.

The move was instigated by his bankruptcy trustee, Paul Weston from Pitcher Partners, who found "no assets so far", his barrister said.

"Total assets, according to our best knowledge, are in the negative $11.6 million," Roger Marshall SC said.

Mehajer was granted bail in early April over claims he staged a car crash last year and defrauded an insurance company.

He then announced on social media platform Instagram he'd lodged an application to "set aside this joke" claiming "only God can bankrupt me".

It's understood Mehajer will launch new legal action in an attempt to prove he's solvent.

He claims he wasn't trying to stall proceedings by applying for an adjournment and then discontinuing the case.

Source AAP

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch