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packer to face court - not?

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    Packer to face court - not?
    By John Kidman, Police Reporter
    April 6 2003
    The Sun-Herald

    A bizarre disagreement has erupted between police and legal authorities over whether or not Australia's richest man, Kerry Packer, will face court on a gun charge.

    Police yesterday rejected reports that they are to prosecute the 65-year-old media mogul over his failure to safely secure a 9mm Glock semi-automatic pistol, which was stolen from his city office earlier this year.

    In court records, Mr Packer has been summonsed over the matter, listed for mention in Sydney's Downing Centre complex on Tuesday.

    The Glock was stolen from the third floor executive office of Mr Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting premises on January 16. Police believe a man and a woman were responsible for the theft but neither has been caught.

    It was reported yesterday that Mr Packer had been charged as a result of the theft and had been listed as a "defendant" on Tuesday's court lists.

    A check of the NSW Local Courts website (www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au) showed that Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer was listed among 30 defendants issued with a general summons and whose matters will be examined on Tuesday at 9.30am.

    Police issued a denial.

    A police spokesman told The Sun-Herald that Mr Packer had not been charged, nor had he been summonsed.

    The case became more confusing when The Sun-Herald contacted a spokesman for NSW Attorney General Bob Debus, who said Mr Packer's name "definitely is, or at least was, listed" on the court list.

    The spokesman could not explain why the police were saying one thing and court lists another.

    Failure to "safe keep" a weapon can carry penalties of up to two years' imprisonment or a fine of up to $5500.

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