Australians escape punishment over APEC prank
Monsters and Critics
April 28, 2008
Sydney – The Australian comics who breached security at a regional summit in Sydney in September by riding in a fake motorcade had all charges against them dropped Monday.
The stunt by the Chaser television comedy team was only discovered when the convoy stopped just metres short of US President George W Bush’s hotel and an Osama bin Laden imposter got out.
A judge dropped the charges, saying their action was defensible as a reasonable and honest mistake because they did not believe they would be allowed through the security checks.
The let-off was welcomed by Kim Dalton, a director of state-owned ABC Television.
‘What was undeniably the greatest moment in political satire last year, which the ABC has always been very proud of, has been found to be just that – great political satire,’ Dalton said.
Police issued a statement deploring the prank.
Barry O’Farrell, a member of the New South Wales state parliament, said the court ruling highlighted the ineptitude of the security personnel.
‘What the Chasers did was engage in satire, what the Chasers did was expose weakness in the security arrangements around the event, and they shouldn’t have been penalized for other people’s poor planning,’ he said.
image: The Sydney Morning Herald