Bombshell Pisasale recording played to court

PAUL Pisasale has denied blackmailing the ex-boyfriend of a "masseuse or escort" as he took the stand in his extortion trial.

Taking to the witness box in the Brisbane District Court on the third day of his extortion trial, the former Ipswich mayor told the court he met the woman, Yutian Li, then 37, when his barrister friend Sam Di Carlo told him "he had a girl that was going to give me two hours of massage" in January 2017.

"He just told me he'd organised a girl for me. She was very nice and she was new to the business," Pisasale said.

Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale (centre) arrives at court. Picture: AAP/Darren England
Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale (centre) arrives at court. Picture: AAP/Darren England

The court was later played recordings of phone calls intercepted by the Crime and Corruption Commission, where the then-mayor talks about Li being "in the wrong trade".

"Oh the first night I f---ed her was good, but she's so naive," Pisasale tells Di Carlo in the call, adding "when you come back there is good photos of her."

Pisasale would later take her to the Gold Coast, restaurants and Melbourne.

During their relationship, Li, also known as Angela, told him her ex-boyfriend had "lied" by promising to marry her, before breaking up by telling her he was dying, he said.

Pisasale said a "broke" Li later told him she had spent $10,000 finding out the truth about her ex-boyfriend and he agreed to help her recoup costs.

The court has heard recordings of phone calls to Li's ex-boyfriend - intercepted by the CCC - where Pisasale posed first as a telemarketer, then as a private investigator.

Yutian Li outside court: AAP/Darren England
Yutian Li outside court: AAP/Darren England

After learning the ex-boyfriend was already married, Pisasale demanded he pay Li money. He arranged for a legal letter demanding he pay $8400 - including $6100 in private investigator fees. But the prosecution alleges there was no private investigator, just Pisasale "pretending" to be one.

Pisasale told the court he never asked if Li had hired a private investigator.

Li is a co-accused in the extortion trial and has pleaded not guilty.

But he said he believed she had hired an investigator after she gave him copies of her ex-boyfriend's identity documents, including a screenshot of his passport.