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Former NSW deputy premier will face trial for alleged assault of camera operator next year

Henri Scott

July 9, 2023

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Original Source: 9news.com.au, Jack Gramenz

Former deputy premier John Barilaro will face a three-day court hearing after allegedly assaulting a man outside a bar as he faced scrutiny over his appointment to a lucrative overseas trade role.

The now-retired politician, 51, denies criminal charges alleging he assaulted freelance camera operator Matt Costello and damaged his equipment outside a Manly bar in July.

Three days have been set aside for a hearing in September 2023.

The now-retired politician denies criminal charges alleging he assaulted freelance camera operator Matt Costello. (Kate Geraghty)

Barilaro was excused from appearing on Thursday.

His lawyer Danny Eid told the Downing Centre Local Court he would seek to prevent statements being tendered to the court from witnesses who would not be called to give evidence.

Footage posted online shows Barilaro and Costello struggling with one another while Costello tries to film the former NSW Nationals leader, who then walks away.

Barilaro later confirmed the incident, saying he was confronted in the dark outside a bar and felt harassed during a night out with friends.

“All I did was push a camera out of my way. I did not manhandle an individual,” he told 2GB.

Barilaro resigned from NSW parliament in October 2021. (Dominic Lorrimer)

Barilaro resigned from NSW parliament in October 2021.

The alleged assault came shortly after Barilaro was appointed senior trade and investment commissioner to the Americas in June.

He resigned from the lucrative New York-based role within two weeks noting it had become “untenable” due to media and parliamentary scrutiny.

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Written By Henri Scott

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