The high-profile boss of a company with a key Rugby World Cup contract is facing a serious assault charge.
The company director, whose name is suppressed, is due to appear in Auckland District Court on Thursday accused of assault with intent to injure. The charge relates to an incident outside the man's $600,000 Auckland home in January last year.
A PR firm working for the man's company said yesterday that he would "strenuously deny" the charges. A statement on behalf of the man's lawyer Bruce Patterson, from the firm Duncan Cotterill, said that police had investigated the alleged incident at the time and elected not to proceed with any criminal charge.
"A charge was then laid over a year later."
A source familiar with the case said the accused man's company might be legally prevented from fulfilling its contract with the Rugby World Cup organisers if he was convicted.
"This will be like a termite eating at Martin Snedden's brain," he said.
Rugby World Cup spokesman Mike Jaspers asked to know who had made the comment about RWC boss Snedden before requesting an off-the record conversation. He emailed a few minutes later, saying: "Sorry we have no comment to make today."
The man first appeared on May 5 over the charge.