What are the ARU and Lote’s lawyers trying to hide?
What the hell are the Australian Rugby Union and Lote Tuqiri’s management trying to hide over the winger’s sacking from the Wallabies?
In another strange turn of events today lawyers for both the ARU and Lote have asked that documents relating to the case be suppressed from the media.
Lawyers acting for the ARU have said it would be “undesirable for any publicity until objective arguments were made by both sides”.
The NSW Supreme Court’s Justice Einstein thought this to be a rather peculiar request:
“This court’s usual practice would be to make the court documents relating to this matter available,” he said.
You can read the AAP story here.
If this is a contract dispute between two parties in a public court there would be no reason to suppress documents relating to the sacking that both the ARU and Lote are aware of.
What possible public interest can there be in not making this public?
Last month I wrote a piece asking that the ARU come clean on why they sacked one of the Wallabies most exciting players, who they had only recently resigned on a contract worth around $700,000 a season.
Today’s action by the ARU is further evidence of an organisation that thinks itself a class above the kind of bad publicity that NRL regularly finds itself caught-up in.
The condescending “don’t you worry about that” approach of the ARU boss John O’Neil towards the Lote sacking is disrespectful to media and the fans who, after all, are the ones indirectly funding this legal action with Tuqiri through their $114 Bledisloe Cup tickets (the cost of pretty standard adult ticket this year).
The fact that Tuqiri’s lawyers are keen to have the details suppressed hints at something beyond a mere contract dispute as John O’Neil is trying to frame the court action.
So if, as O’Neil claims, there is no police matter involved what’s with all the secrecy?
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