‘Confused’ Anthony Koletti excused from giving evidence at Melissa Caddick inquest

5 months ago 3061

The husband of alleged fraudster Melissa Caddick was too distressed to continue giving evidence at his wife’s inquest on Wednesday after saying he couldn’t understand the “confusing” questions.

Anthony Koletti returned to the witness box at the NSW coroners court but deputy state coroner Elizabeth Ryan asked him to step down about lunchtime as his answers were not helpful.

Earlier, Koletti told counsel assisting Jason Downing SC that on the morning of Caddick’s disappearance on 12 November 2020 he assumed she had gone out to do some exercise.

He had told police in an interview: “I didn’t think anything of it ... she’s just gone for a walk which she does every day not a problem.”

At the inquest, Koletti agreed that his wife had no habits, her exercise regime was irregular and she mostly jogged on a treadmill.

Downing questioned Koletti on Wednesday about the inconsistencies – asking if he was now trying to justify his earlier answers.

“One of the accounts must not be true,” Downing said. “I’m guessing so, yes,” Koletti replied.

“Why are you guessing?” Downing said.

“Because your questions are confusing, the way you talk is not the way my mind works,” Koletti replied. “Everyone has got a different mind you’ve got to understand that. I don’t think you do. I’ve been through a lot in case you haven’t noticed.”

Koletti was then taken to his previous statement but the confusion continued.

“You can read, can’t you?” Downing said. “I am so confused by your questions,” Koletti responded.

The inquest also heard evidence regarding where Caddick’s phone was found after she disappeared. Koletti told police a different version to his evidence in court.

“You’re just going around in circles like you were before,” Koletti said when asked about the phone. “I can’t answer these questions over and over again.”

His lawyer Judy Swan interjected saying her client was finding the process distressing but wanted “it over”.

“He’s trying to answer to the best of his knowledge but he’s obviously struggling with the nuances,” Swan said. “I don’t know if it’s a mental disconnect or general disconnect. He’s distressed and has been for a while.”

The coroner said counsel’s questions were legitimate and it was her duty to determine if Caddick was alive, and if not, the manner and cause of her death.

She asked whether Koletti was mentally unable to continue – otherwise, there was an expectation he would continue to answer questions.

After a break, Koletti returned to give evidence, but shortly afterwards Downing said he had concerns his answers would provide little assistance to the coroner.

“If you are unable to focus on questions and give truthful answers to them that is not going to assist me,” Ryan said before asking Koletti to step down for the day.

He previously said on Tuesday that he had always been truthful but admitted there may have been moments when his “wires were crossed” due to his concern and worry.

Koletti maintains he had no inkling his wife was allegedly defrauding family and friends of millions of dollars, nor did he ask her why federal police or the corporate watchdog were suddenly searching their Sydney eastern suburbs home.

The Asic raid on 11 November 2020 was the last verified sighting of Caddick before she vanished without a trace. The inquest is due to continue with evidence from an oceanographer.

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