A curious moment in the C7 case in the Federal Court in
yesterday. As Peter Gammell, Kerry Stokes’s chief right hand man, 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 Mr Gammell was
accused of bid 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. Mr Gammell said he had suggested a deal ahead of the bids that
“each party pay the other half (of) the cost of the rights that they’ve
acquired.” But he said it was not a rigged bid.
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’s rights with the NRL. Justice
Sackville further questioned Mr Gammell on his intention at the time. Mr Gammell said it would not end
competition, but was more a matching process.
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