Security consultant Adrian Gard has appeared in court and entered a not guilty plea to the charge public mischief which relates to the bugging scandal that erupted last year when a listening device was found in the All Blacks’ hotel room.
Police intend to allege that the device was planted and then later “found” by Gard, and that Gard later gave a false statement about finding the device.
Simon Joyner, Gard’s lawyer, said Gard would enter a ‘not guilty’ plea.
“He has participated with the police investigation and he respects the All Blacks and what they represent,” Joyner said.
Gard has worked in the security industry for more than three decades. His hearing will continue on May 2.
Gard has previously publicly denied that he has done anything wrong.
“The bug was news to me, I literally had no idea about it, until I was told about it. I’m really annoyed about the whole thing to tell you the truth… I’m just going to ride the next few months out, the truth will come out in the end,” Gard said in February.
“People who work with me can vouch for my reputation.
“My work speaks for itself. I don’t know anything about this stupid bloody bug.”
The news comes as the latest development in what has been a bizarre scandal that has done some damage to the relationship between Australian and New Zealand rugby.
There was significant bad blood at the time as All Blacks’ management waited until the day of the game to announce that the device had been found, even though it had been found five days earlier.
No one from the All Blacks accused Australia of any wrongdoing, the incident proved to be a significant distraction for the team ahead of a vital Bledisloe Cup match, which was easily won by New Zealand.