Police conclude investigation into alleged assault

Police conclude investigation into alleged assault

National News

Wellington Police have concluded their investigation into the alleged assault on French rugby player Mathieu Bastareaud.

The police enquiry concentrated on tracking the movements of Mr Bastareaud throughout the evening of Saturday 20th to the early hours of Sunday 21st June 2009.

Members of the Wellington hospitality industry have co-operated with police through witness statements, sightings and providing CCTV video footage.

The evidence gathered by police did not corroborate the initial information of an alleged assault in Wellington city in the early hours of Sunday 21st June.

The information was provided by Mr Bastareaud through an interpreter after the French team had left New Zealand.

On Thursday 25th June, Police advised the French Rugby Union that they had viewed CCTV footage from Sunday morning. The footage showed Mr Bastareaud arriving unharmed at the hotel. A media release was subsequently issued by Mr Bastareaud who admitted that he had not been assaulted.

Inspector Peter Cowan said "Due to the serious nature of the allegation and the implications for the reputation of Wellington city, a CIB investigation squad comprising of 5 officers have been working on the investigation since Monday morning".

Inspector Peter Cowan said "In the light of the outcome of the police investigation and the admissions by Mr Bastareaud, this has been an unnecessary drain on Wellington police investigative resources", however he is satisfied that the matter has been effectively concluded and that the reputation of Wellington as a safe city, has been restored.

Inspector Peter Cowan would like to thank the New Zealand Rugby Football Union for their assistance and professionalism in what developed into a difficult situation with international implications. Inspector Cowan said "I have been working closely with representatives of the Union who have assisted greatly with communication between the police and the French Rugby Union.

Inspector Peter Cowan would also like to thank the management and staff of the Holiday Inn Wellington for their co-operation with the investigation.

Inspector Peter Cowan Wellington Area Commander said "Wellington city continues to enjoy a solid reputation as a safe city. Incidents of violence are taken very seriously by Police and we are pleased that the reputation of Wellington has been restored.