A well -known businessman was jailed but continued to emphatically deny indecent assault on three people and later tried to bribe one of his victims. Video / Chris Tarpey
A political figure will take the final legal step, in the Supreme Court, in an effort to keep their identities secret after being mentioned during a high-profile sex affair and corruption trial by a businessman last year.
Today, the nation’s highest court confirmed that the man filed a notice of appeal. Restriction on their name will remain until the final bid is determined.
The Court of Appeal upheld the decisions of the two other judges and agreed that the name of political identity should be published.
It is now more than a year that courtroom arguments erupted after Herald publisher NZME and fellow media company Stuff sought to revoke the suppression order first made in the district court in March 2019. This was followed by political figure mentioned several times during last year’s trial by a prominent businessman.
The figure’s attorney, Davey Salmon QC, said the allegations made against his client during the trial were “extremely defamatory and unequivocally untrue” and they were dragged into an “acquaintance -horrible conspiracy “to protect a sex offender.
When giving evidence at his trial in the High Court, the businessman told jurors that the political figure’s alleged association with controversial PR consultant Jevan Goulter persuaded him to use the Goulter & Associates company.
He said he needed PR expertise for imminent reputation damage issues after hearing rumors that the Australian media would soon publish allegations of indecent assault against him.
Goulter, however, was hired for what became known as the Gold Coast plot, a elaborate attempt to prevent one of the businessman’s three victims from pursuing allegations in 2017.
The effort failed but the conspiracy continued and a further meeting was held at a bar in Auckland between Goulter, his partner Allison Edmonds and the businessman’s manager.
Their meeting was recorded by Edmonds and throughout the conversation, the name of the political figure was mentioned. The recording remained hidden until it came out in the middle of the trader’s first trial in March 2019, which resulted in its abortion.
In a subsequent statement to police, Goulter said his comments about the political figure during the recording were untrue. However, he admitted that he had talked to the political figure about his own affidavit on name suppression and before the bar meeting had sought and taken advice from them.
Goulter and Edmonds were granted immunity from prosecution by the Solicitor-General in exchange for their evidence for the Crown.
The businessman, who also continues to suppress the name, was found guilty of lewdly assaulting three men and twice tried to pervert the path of justice.
The former rich-lister was sentenced to two years and four months in prison, however, he was later granted bail pending the appeal of his conviction and sentence. The appeal must be heard this year.
The businessman’s manager was found guilty of attempting to restrain a victim during the Gold Coast plan and was sentenced to 12 months home detention.
New Zealand entertainer Mika X, also known as Mika Haka, was also part of the conspiracy and after pleading guilty to two attempts to prevent the victim from giving evidence was sentenced to 11 months house detention.