Australian security consultant Adrian Gard denies involvement in All Blacks' Sydney hotel bug affair
A security consultant who was charged after a listening device was found in the All Blacks' Sydney hotel room in August has pleaded not guilty.
Adrian Gard, 51, was charged with one count of false misrepresentation resulting in a police investigation in February. Police will allege Gard gave a false statement to authorities that he had found an "unlawful listening device" in a chair in an All Blacks team meeting room which then resulted in an unnecessary investigation.
Gard's lawyer, Simon Joyner, made a short statement outside of Waverley Local Court on Tuesday, saying his client would plead not guilty when he returned to court on May 2.
"He has participated with the police investigation and he respects the All Blacks and what they represent," Joyner said.
Joyner requested a two-day hearing to coincide with the availability of All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and his management.
Gard declined to comment.
News of the incident, which broke on the morning of the first Bledisloe Cup test between Australia and New Zealand in August, sent shockwaves through the rugby world.
While no one from New Zealand Rugby said they thought the device was planted by someone from within the Australian camp, ARU chief executive Bill Pulver and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika believed there was an implication of foul play.
The incident left a sour taste in trans-Tasman relations for the remainder of the year.
Cheika's frustration came out in the aftermath of Australia's loss to the All Blacks at Eden Park, accusing New Zealand of inferring that he or his team were behind the device.
While it was first reported by New Zealand media the device was "sophisticated", later reports suggested that this was far from the case.
Gard has worked with the All Blacks as a security guard for 12 years whenever they have toured Australia. He has also worked for a number of high profile clients, including Paris Hilton, Schapelle Corby and former US President Bill Clinton.
- Sydney Morning Herald