A FORMER childcare businessman about to face a charge of allegedly misappropriating $81.5 million is now free to travel to the United States and Canada.
Eddy Groves has not been able to travel for three-and-a-half years while he awaits trial in Brisbane District Court in November accused of aiding and abetting ABC Learning's executive director Martin Kemp in a Corporations Act offence.
Today he applied to Brisbane Supreme Court to have his Canadian passport, which he had surrendered to comply with bail conditions, returned.
He is now on the verge of being charged for his alleged involvement in misappropriation when $81.5 million was transferred between two companies.
Defence barrister Peter Davis said his client made an application to vary bail so he could travel to the United States to check on a property he owns and take up a consulting opportunity, and to Whistler in Canada to check on a ski resort he quarter-owns.
Mr Davis said his client was considering selling the properties and wanted to attend to them personally.
He said Groves had strong ties in Australia, where he has lived most of his life, because his wife and kids lived here.
Crown prosecutor Alan Macsporran argued the flight risk was unacceptable because Groves's movements could not be tracked once he left the country.
He said Groves had the capacity to live overseas for a significant period of time.
Mr Macsporran said the Crown would ask for a jail term if Groves was convicted after trial later this year.
Justice Peter Lyons said while there was some flight risk, Groves had complied with his bail conditions thus far and had strong ties to Australia.
He ordered the passport be returned.