Joseph Parker Named As High Profile Sportsman In Drug Trial

Joseph Parker named in drug trial

Boxer Joseph Parker has been named as the ‘high profile sportsman’ with connections to an international drug syndicate that smuggled 20 kgs of drugs into New Zealand through the postal service.

A Supreme Court judgment released today saw the Court say that it was not in the interests of justice to allow Parker to appeal a decision that he could be named, and ruled his interim suppression order would lapse at 2pm on Friday.

Parker, the former WBO world champion, was never charged by Police in relation to the allegations and he denies any involvement saying through his lawyer, Mike Heron QC, that the allegations are “quite untrue”.

Heron said that his client did not feel it was right to have his name connected to the matter and he had no chance to defend himself after the allegations were made against him.

“Despite the lack of evidence against him, unfounded allegations were made against Mr Parker in court, he said.

“Those allegations were not supported by evidence, were unnecessary and were unfair. Unfortunately, those matters were beyond the control of Mr Parker,” Heron said.

Parker’s name arose repeatedly in the trial in 2019 which saw defendants Tevita Matangi Fangupo, Tevita Sitanilei Kulu and Toni Rajendra Finau jailed.

In the Supreme Court judgment, the Court said –

“In the present case, there is no dispute that publication would cause undue
hardship to the applicant, so the discretion to make a suppression order was enlivened.
However, in all of the four decisions considering the application, the Courts have
determined that the discretion should not be exercised in favour of suppression, having
regard to open justice principles.”

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