Rugby skullduggery at its finest. A surreptitious listening device was found in the Sydney hotel where the All Blacks were staying, secreted in a chair in the team’s meeting room when they were in Sydney this time last year, staying at the Intercontinental Hotel in Double Bay.
Testimony supplied by a counter-espionage expert (cue Mission Impossible theme song) indicates that the nine-volt battery attached to the bugging device was active. We would like to learn the name brand of that battery, because any device of ours that relies on a nine-volt source can do nothing other than alert us that the device needs a new nine-volt battery.
Crikey, even our cell phone battery is more reliable than a nine-volt battery. Maybe the spy, who one would think worked for the Kangaroos, found a bargain at a Radio Shack Going-Out-of-Business sale.
The counter-spy, Julian Claxton, told the Downing Centre Local Court Tuesday past that All Blacks security guard Adrian Gard was not fabricating the claim that the battery had been attached to the bug when he found it. That’s Gard, Adrian Gard, the security guard.
Gard had been charged with making a false claim regarding the incident, a charge to which he pled not guilty, although he could not deny his remarkable physical resemblance to the 007 of Daniel Craig vintage.
Claxton’s testimony to the court detailed how he had subjected the nine-volt battery to sophisticated testing procedures to determine that it was capable of functioning, by putting the battery in his mouth, where he discovered that there was still quite a bit of voltage left in the battery.
Former Intercontinental Hotel Manager Paul Walters related that the All Blacks tried avoid involving the police, out of fear that the media would get ahold of the story. He may have been concerned that the public would misinterpret, and think that his hotel had bugs.
We are not certain why the All Blacks would try to suppress such a story, perhaps out a sense of embarrassment over being hacked by a 19th century spy device.