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Billionaire's Name Suppression Off To High Court

The judge responsible for the name suppression of the American drug importing billionaire has said he will not lift the suppression order because it is improper for him to do so.

In a statement today Otahuhu District Court Judge David Harvey said he had no jurisdiction to grant the application by the Herald Newspaper to discharge the name suppression of the American businessman.

He said his decision was based on law, and not because of any reluctance to change his initial ruling.

While the case brought up, “important private and public issues”, current legislation did not allow a District Court judge to overturn a decision on a name suppression, Judge Harvey said.

The judge’s ruling opens the way for the Herald Newspaper to take its appeal against name suppression to the High Court.

Herald Editor Stephen Davies said the newspaper would continue the fight to over-turn the suppression order and was currently talking to Wilson & Horton lawyers about their next action.

The New Zealand Herald Newspaper appealed the name suppression of the man on January 7, arguing that name suppression of the man was futile as his identity was widely published on the internet.

The paper also argued it was in the public interest of New Zealanders to know the identity of the man.

Judge Harvey granted name suppression to the man on January 6th when he faced charges of bringing in over 100 grams of cannabis into the country through Auckland airport.

He discharged the billionaire without conviction on January 7th after he paid $53,000 to a drug rehabilitation organisation Odyssey House.

The billionaire left the country two days later.

© Scoop Media

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