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Drug Importing Billionaire Case Appeal Drags On

The judge considering the name suppression of the American billionaire caught importing drugs into Auckland airport has still not delivered a judgement on an appeal of his decision, 11 days after reserving his verdict.

Otahuhu district court Judge Peter Harvey initially granted name suppression to the man on January 6th when he faced charges of bringing in over 100 grams of cannabis into the country.

Judge Harvey discharged the man without conviction on January 7th, and the billionaire left the country a couple of days later - after enjoying a couple of days on Hauraki Gulf watching the Louis Vuitton Cup.

The anonymous American billionaire left his lawyer to fight the The New Zealand Herald Newspaper who challenged the suppression ruling.

The Herald has argued that as the man’s name has been revealed widely overseas, including on the internet the suppression is futile. The paper has also argued that it is in the public interest for New Zealanders to know the identity of the man.

The newspaper won the first part of the battle when the lawyer for the billionaire unsuccessfully applied for the appeal of the name suppression decision to be transferred to the High Court.

The billionaire’s lawyer Marie Dhyrberg has said the man is prepared to fight the Herald’s application to the Court Of Appeal if necessary.

A spokeswoman from the Otahuhu District Court told Scoop today the judge was due to make up his mind about the name suppression of the billionaire in the next few days, but had delayed the decision, as he still had further matters to consider.

A spokesperson for the Herald said they were waiting, “like everyone else”, and would say nothing until the judge had delivered his decision.

© Scoop Media

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