6 Jan 2016

Russell Packer Lawyer

From Five O'clock Report, 5:19 pm on 6 January 2016

A lawyer says a convicted New Zealand rugby league player has been allowed to stay in Australia because he is popular and well connected. Australia's Immigration Minister Peter Dutton stepped in late last year to confirm New Zealander Russell Packer would not be deported after he signed a two-year deal with the St George Illawarra Dragons at the NRL. Packer has served 12 months in jail for a drunken attack in Sydney in which he repeatedly punched and stomped on his New Zealand victim. Neither Packer nor his lawyer are commenting and the local Liberal MP did not return RNZ's call. Lawyer Greg Barns, who represents some New Zealand detainees, says its unfair. [tregions]