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23 Mar 2017 11:13
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby

    Not guilty plea over All Blacks' hotel bug

    A security consultant charged over a bugging scandal involving the All Blacks has pleaded not guilty.

    An All Blacks security guard has pleaded not guilty to making up claims he found a bugging device in the New Zealand rugby team's Sydney hotel last year.

    Court documents show police allege Adrian Gard lied to officers when he said he found the illegal bug "secreted in a chair situated in the All Blacks' meeting room" at the InterContinental in Double Bay in August.

    Gard, 51, appeared in Waverley Local Court on Tuesday morning charged with one count of false misrepresentation resulting in a police investigation and entered a plea of not guilty.

    His lawyer, Simon Joyner, requested the next hearing be held when All Blacks management and their coach, Steve Hansen, were in Australia.

    Outside court, Joyner reiterated that Gard will fight the charges.

    "He has participated with the police investigation and he respects the All Blacks and what they represent," Mr Joyner said. Gard made no comment.

    After Gard was charged earlier this year, Mr Hansen said he was a trusted and well-respected member of the team, describing the charge as "bizarre and unbelievable".

    Gard has more than 30 years' experience in the security industry and has worked for leading public figures including former US President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and golfer Tiger Woods.

    He's been involved with the All Blacks' security for 10 years.

    Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver has previously stressed the Wallabies were never accused of any wrongdoing.

    There were reports at the time the alleged bugging may have been an inside job by someone within the All Blacks' camp.

    It took five days for NZRU to come forward about the incident, and the Wallabies were angered by the distraction on match day. The All Blacks won the Test 42-8.

    Gard's matter is scheduled to return to court on May 2.

    © 2017 NZN, NZCity

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