World Cup intruder freed as journalist appears in court

19:30, June 30, 2010      

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While British journalist Simon Wright appeared in Cape Town's special FIFA World Cup Court on Wednesday in connection with the intrusion of an English fan into the England team's dressing room, the fan himself walked free after paying a fine.

Londoner Pavlos Joseph entered the English team's dressing room in Cape Town after their 0-0 draw against Algeria on June 18.

The South African Press Association (SAPA) reported on Wednesday that Joseph was released after paying a 750 rands (100 U. S. dollars) admission of guilt fine.

Joseph's lawyer Craig Webster told the magistrate that he had made representations to the Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

These representations had been successful in that the DPP had agreed to allow him to pay an admission of guilt fine.

Joseph had paid the fine on Tuesday for a contravention of Section 6, Sub-section 1 of South Africa's FIFA Act, being in a designated area without an accreditation card for that area.

The lawyer asked that the "charges" against Joseph be withdrawn in his absence.

The magistrate agreed.

However, the British journalist Wright was not so fortunate.

According to SAPA, Wright's lawyer William Booth told the magistrate that he had not yet seen a formal charge sheet, but that he intended to make representations for the withdrawal of charges against his client.

Magistrate Grant Engel postponed the case to July 7.

He extended Wright's bail of 3,000 rands (400 U.S. dollars).

Wright had surrendered his passport to police and as part of his bail conditions had been ordered to have no contact with employees of the city's Bay Hotel, and had to report daily to the Cape Town police station.

On Monday South African police arrested Wright, who works for the British Sunday Mirror, in connection with what they said was a security breach in the England soccer team's dressing room.

They said he had been charged with defeating the ends of justice and contravening the South Africa's Immigration Act.

Wright was allegedly linked to the incident where Joseph entered the English team's dressing room .

Joseph was not in court on Wednesday.



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