RIU exclusion update

NZ HARNESS NEWS

The Racing Integrity Unit is reviewing the exclusion orders placed on numerous Canterbury licence-holders following their arrests as a part of Operation Inca.

RIU General Manager Mike Godber confirmed as much today but was not prepared to give any indications as to a potential timeline for when the reviews will conclude.

“They have asked us to review their exclusion notices and we are in the process of doing that,” he said.

“Until such time as we have completed them, I won’t be commenting any further.”

Godber said the words of Judge Raoul Neave were clear in his mind after the most recent court appearance of a majority of the accused, on September 11.

“The Judge was very critical about information being made public regarding the case, so we have been very careful to not put anything else out since then.”

Neave took aim at the media and police on a number of occasions during the hearing.

He chastised Police for holding a press conference before those charged had appeared in court and took aim at media for naming some of the individuals last week and for ‘live updating’ from the court room.

Godber said he was unaware of any of those excluded seeking legal recourse through the courts to overturn the exclusions at this point.

“I haven’t yet been notified of anything in that regard,” he said.

If the RIU declined the applications before them, attempting to seek a court order would be the likely next step for those involved.

A total of 13 people were charged following Operation Inca, the National Organised Crime Group investigation into alleged corruption in harness racing.

Police executed at least 17 search warrants at stables and private residences on September 4 and 5.

On September 5, the RIU also charged those concerned with Serious Racing Offences under the Rules of Harness Racing.

As well as that, they excluded them, preventing them from entering a race course to attend race meetings, workouts and trials.

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