A curious moment in the C7 case in the Federal Court in
Peter Gammell, the chief right hands man of Kerry
Stokes was being cross examined by News Ltd barrister, Noel Hutley, SC, the presiding judge Justice Ron Sackville halted
proceedings and suggested Mr Gammell seek legal advice.
was after the Mr Gammell was
accused of big rigging by Mr Hutley in colluding with news Ltd in bidding for the AFL and
NRL rights in 2000. After
the short recess, during which Mr Gammell had a chat with Seven
barrister, John Sheahan SC, Mr Gammell returned to the
had been questioning Gammell about a proposal made to
news Ltd executive Peter Marcourt in December 2000
shortly before the bids closed for the AFL and NRL rights.
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Mr Gammell said he had suggested a deal ahead of the bids that
‘each party pay the other half the cost of the rights that they’ve acquired” But
he said it was not a rigged bid. After
that advice from Mr Sheahan,
Mr Gammell further qualified
his comments by saying that what he suggested was ‘similar to the position
between Optus and News which effectively existed at the time” which related to
Optus’ rights with the NRL.
Sackville further questioned Mr Gammell on his intention at the time. Mr Gammel said it would not end
competition but was more a matching process.