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McManus admits perverting course of justice

Australian concert promoter Andrew McManus, founder of Melbourne-based One World Entertainment, faces up to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice.

McManus (pictured), who has promoted shows by major acts including Kiss, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, Whitney Houston and The Beach Boys in Australia and New Zealand, admitted the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment, at the Downing Centre court in Sydney earlier today, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

The promoter was one of five people arrested in September following the discovery of a suitcase containing A$702,000 in a room at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney in 2011. In 2012 McManus told police the cash related to a business deal he had arranged for Owen Hanson, a “very good friend of a friend”, to secure a ZZ Top tour, but that he needed it back to fund a Lenny Kravitz tour. “In essence, I delivered back 700 grand I now need to borrow it again,” he said. “As quickly as possible.”

While McManus eventually claimed the money was his – “It’s not the proceeds of crime, it’s the proceeds of Andrew McManus… I gave someone 700 large, and you’ve found someone with 700 large. It’s my 700 large,” he said – police were previously told the occupant of the Hilton room, Sean Carolan, was minding it for his business partner, peptide entrepreneur Owen Hanson Jnr, and then that Hanson was investing it in Carolan’s weight-loss company.

“There is still plenty of water to run under this bridge… all I will say is sometimes in life you have to go backwards before you can go forwards”

Two other men, solicitor Michael Croke and McManus’s friend and associate, underworld figure and alleged drug-dealer Craig Haeusler, also stand charged of attempting to retrieve the money from police and are awaiting a trial date.

Two other charges attached to McManus – participating in a criminal group and attempting to gain a financial advantage by deception (by claiming the cash was his) – have been dropped.

Just five months ago the promoter wrote on Facebook the allegations were “libellous” and blamed the case on the “Aussie thing” of “bring[ing] down all tall poppies”. McManus told IQ today he can’t currently comment, as there’s “still plenty of water to run under this bridge”, but adds: “all I will say is sometimes in life you have to go backwards before you can go forward.”

McManus will appear in court once more on 26 August, when his sentencing date will be fixed.


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Calls for criminal prosecution of Love Parade 10

Nearly 360,000 people have signed a petition calling for a criminal case to be opened against the organisers of the tragic 2010 Love Parade festival.

Duisburg state court ruled in April that 10 people – four employees of Love Parade promoter Lopavent and six of the city of Duisburg – would not stand trial for their role in the disaster, which left 21 people dead, owing to a lack of evidence. Lawyer Julius Reiter, representing around 100 people, including the relatives of four of the dead, called the decision a “judicial scandal” and said prosecutors would appeal to the higher regional court (Oberlandesgericht, OLG) in Dusseldorf.

A petition to Dusseldorf OLG created by Gabi Müller, the mother of victim Christian Müller, has attracted 359,188 signatures at the time of writing and will be presented to the court on Monday (25 July). It calls for a criminal trial of the 10 people who escaped prosecution in April.

Müller says she is “overwhelmed” by the response and regularly reads comments on the petition, “especially in dark hours”. “They help me to keep going and not lose hope that one day my son, Christian, and all the other victims of the Love Parade will have justice.”

Twenty-one people died and over 500 were injured on 24 July 2010 in a crush in a tunnel that served as the sole entrance to the dance music festival in Duisburg. Over a million people attended the 2010 event, which was held at a former goods yard with a capacity of around 250,000.


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