A millionaire ‘priest’, a love triangle and semi-naked hugs
A man with 'delusions' of torture in a Vietnam prisoner of war camp has been handed $100,000 from the multimillion-dollar estate of his former lover and landlord - a man mysteriously identified as an orthodox priest.
But he isn't the millionaire's only bedfellow to claim a slice of the fortune after the pair's female carer detailed her semi-naked "very close hugs" with the man before the NSW Supreme Court.
Milorad Adzic was in his 90s when he died in 2016 - court documents say he was an Archpriest in the Serbian Orthodox Church - but members of the church say that's not the case.
Adzic was unmarried but owned a block of units in Liverpool.
The court heard he left his estate, valued at about $5.7m, to various nieces and nephews as well as their children.
But the end of Mr Adzic's life triggered a tense legal battle when his former tenant and driver, Branco Macura, claimed he was to inherit the Liverpool property where they both lived.
"He died next to me I called the ambulance they said 'we can't do much for him'," Mr Macura told The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.
"It's very hard, we were so close."
The matter was further complicated when Mr Macura and Mr Adzic's carer, Slavica Ristic, claimed she too was in a relationship with the archpriest before he died.
The NSW Supreme Court heard "she and the deceased were in a de facto sexual relationship" for a period of years and had become very close.
Mr Adzic's former lovers were both awarded $100,000 from the estate after private mediation in March 2018.
But while Ms Ristic accepted the money offer the court heard, Mr Macura disputed the result and argued he didn't have the mental capacity to agree to the settlement.
Mr Macura appointed new lawyers and is now battling his original legal team over their $70,000 fee, Supreme Court Justice Julie Ward noted in her judgment won Friday.
Mr Macura, the court heard, has terminal prostate and bone cancer, suffers post-traumatic stress disorder from his army service in Vietnam and continues to grieve the loss of his partner.
The court was given affidavits that claimed Mr Macura's service was not all it appeared to be.
A psychologist had diagnosed Mr Macura in November 2018 with a panic disorder based on what Mr Macura had told him about his time in war; "including that he had served in Vietnam, that he was captured by the Vietcong, that he was tortured for ten days by being put in a water cage."
But the court ultimately heard his claims of serving in the army, in Vietnam and his conscription were all false.
Mr Macura told The Daily Telegraph he "didn't care" what government records said about his service.
"They try to remove my credibility, I know it, I believe it's true for all these 50 years," he said, sitting on the bed in the small Liverpool apartment he must now leave.
His discharge document, tendered in Mr Macura's evidence, was a forgery and he was not entitled to any of the medals or awards it claimed, the court also heard.
Mr Macura told the court, and maintains still, that he was battling panic attacks and cancer medication side effects during the mediation and couldn't read or understand the settlement.
Ms Ristic backed up Mr Macura's claims of a panic attack in the negotiations, but no other witnesses did.
Under cross-examination Ms Ristic detailed her own relationship with Mr Adzic.
"Sorry, do I understand you mean by engaged in sexual relationships, you had very close hugs?" Justice Ward asked the carer.
"Yeah, I can say that because I consider that as sexual relationship because we were without clothes, naked," Ms Ristic responded through an interpreter.
Ms Ristic detailed how the three of them planned to move to Serbia.
"(Mr Adzic) was planning to go back to Serbia to move back to his country and the plan was to ‑ he was planning to Macura going as well with him," she said.
"At that time I was actually carer to Macura. So that was a plan, me to go with them as well."
Ultimately Justice Ward concluded neither Ms Ristic or Mr Macura were reliable or credible witnesses.
The court ordered the original offer would stand.
Mr Macura's legal battles are expected to continue in November.