NEWS

All Blacks Security Consultant Charged Over Bledisloe Hotel Room Bugging

The ARU called the charges 'welcome news'.

07/02/2017 6:37 PM AEDT | Updated 07/02/2017 7:23 PM AEDT
Benoit Tessier / Reuters
A man has been charged in relation to the New Zealand All Blacks Bledisloe hotel room bugging saga.

NSW Police have charged a man understood to be a security consultant for the New Zealand All Blacks' rugby union team after a listening device was found in the team's Sydney hotel room during last year's Bledisloe Cup.

Charges of public mischief were laid against a 51-year-old man on Wednesday and he was handed a Future Court Attendance Notice to appear at Waverley Local Court on March 21 in light of last year's incident.

The listening device, which was described at the time as similar to devices used by law enforcement and spy agencies, was found inside the leg of a chair during a routine security check of the team's meeting room at the Intercontinental Hotel in Double Bay in Sydney's East in August, 2016.

The man is believed to have been contracted as a security consultant to BGI Security, who were employed by the All Blacks during their Bledisloe campaign last year, according to the ABC.

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) have weighed in on the charges, with CEO Bill Pulver calling the incident a "distraction that neither team needed" ahead of a match as big as a Bledisloe game.

"On behalf of the ARU, I commend the NSW Police for their ongoing pursuit of this matter and for providing closure with a charge being laid against an individual today," Pulver said in a statement released on Tuesday.

"The aspect that still leaves a bitter taste out of this whole affair is that the discovery of the device was reported publicly on game day, when it is understood that the alleged discovery of the device occurred much earlier in the week leading up to the Test match."

While the ARU and the Wallabies were cleared of any wrongdoing in the matter, Pulver made it clear that it was important that issue came to a conclusion.

"Clearly, the media attention which resulted from it was a distraction that neither team needed on the morning of a very important Test match," he said.

"There may be some questions that remain but certainly today's news is welcome news that an individual has been called to account over this incident."

The All Blacks are yet to make a comment regarding the charges laid against the man involved.

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