6 Aug 2019

International meth ring-linked NZ sportsman heads to Supreme Court

12:15 pm on 6 August 2019

A high-profile sportsman connected to an international drug syndicate will take his bid to keep his name secret to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court in Wellington

The frontage at New Zealand's Supreme Court in Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The sportsman was named during the trial of a trio found guilty of importing methamphetamine from California at the High Court at Auckland this year.

He was never charged, and at trial, he was refused name suppression.

The sportman's lawyer, Mike Heron QC, challenged that but the Court of Appeal also declined him name suppression.

Mr Heron confirmed he has filed papers with the Court of Appeal seeking to extend an interim suppression order while he prepares a Supreme Court case. He had until this afternoon to begin the Supreme Court appeal.

The sportsman was a connected person in the trial of Tevita Fangupo, Tevita Kulu and Toni Finau; a trio found guilty of a majority of charges they faced in relation to importing and supplying methamphetamine.

Although the sportsman was the subject of police interest he was never actually spoken to, having exercised his right to silence, and was never charged.

At trial, the Crown had presented evidence it said showed the sportsman played a role in the importations through transporting and changing currency.