''I couldn't put an ad in the Daily Herald,'' said Lucky Gattellari about the travails of finding a hitman to carry out the murder of businessman Michael McGurk.
The former champion boxer is the Crown's star witness in its case against millionaire property developer Ron Medich, whose committal hearing is being presided over by magistrate Jan Stevenson.
Gattellari, 63, said it would have been ''absurd'' to record his discussions with Mr Medich about the planned murder of McGurk in his diary. Wearing a light grey suit and flanked by prison guards, Gattellari repeatedly locked horns with Mr Medich's barrister, Winston Terracini, SC.
''You'll be here [in the witness box] for a long time, Gattellari,'' Mr Terracini said.
''I've only got another 4½ years,'' said Gattellari, referring to the three years he has served over the 2009 murder of McGurk, allegedly at the behest of Mr Medich.
Mr Terracini suggested it was Gattellari who wanted McGurk out of the way because he presented a threat to Gattellari's relationship with his benefactor, Mr Medich, a claim hotly denied by the boxer.
Gattellari claimed that, some months before the murder, Mr Medich paid him two lots of $250,000 for the hit. The money was handed over in Mr Medich's Leichhardt office, Gattellari told the hearing on Monday.
Mr Terracini accused Gattellari of lying because in his police statement he claimed the first $250,000 had been handed over at Mr Medich's Point Piper home.
Gattellari said he had made a mistake because of all the other times he had collected money from Mr Medich's office. He revised his evidence to say that the first $250,000 was provided by Mr Medich at his house.
Gattellari was also grilled about investing in a Toongabbie massage parlour and employing prostitutes. He confirmed that ''Candy'', ''Coco'', ''Chanel'', ''Mimi'' and others who were on the company payroll were, in fact, Asian escorts who were paid for ''services rendered'' to Gattellari's business associates.
When questioned about why some were paid by cheque, Gattellari said they were Mr Medich's ''favourites''.
Questioned about why he paid $2500 to ''Candy'', Gattellari said: ''It's none of your business.''
Forced to answer, Gattellari told Mr Terracini that it was for educational purposes.
The hearing continues.