Aquilini back on hot seat

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

Francesco Aquilini returns to the hot seat in B.C. Supreme Court this morning.

The Vancouver Canucks and General Motors Place owner has been under intense cross-examination since Thursday by Murray Clemens, the lawyer for Tom Gaglardi and Ryan Beedie.

Clemens accused Aquilini of fabricating testimony in a trial that could see him lose the NHL club and arena. Aquilini rejected Clemens' claims, but has often answered, "I can't recall" or "I didn't know" to questions about how his ex-partners lost their ownership bid.

On Friday, Aquilini admitted under cross-examination:

- Having numerous telephone conversations with Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment owner John McCaw and CEO Stan McCammon after quitting Gaglardi and Beedie's group in March 2004;

- Engaging in a heated exchange with Gaglardi during a chance meeting in the men's washroom outside the courtroom early in the trial;

- Phoning Beedie twice on May 25 to seek an out-of-court settlement. Beedie did not return the calls, which were made from the office of Aquilini's lawyer.

Gaglardi and Beedie claim Aquilini used insider information to preempt their purchase. Aquilini became an equal partner with McCaw in November 2004 and bought the rest last November with his brothers.

Read the full story online at vancouver.24hrs.ca.


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