A bodyguard who claims to have found AK-47 assault rifles on luxury yacht Vava in 2003 – and handed them into police – has been acquitted of unrelated gun charges in a high profile court case in New Zealand.
The revelation came during the trial of Wayne Tempero, a career bodyguard to internationally renowned stars such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, David Beckham and Elton John, who was facing unrelated firearms charges after modified guns were found in an open safe at his former employer Kim Dotcom’s mansion in 2012.
As part of his defence, Tempero called upon a number of character witnesses to help clear his name.
One of these witnesses was Brad Butterworth, the New Zealand tactician who helped the Alinghi syndicate win the America’s Cup in 2003. Butterworth told the court that Tempero had previously been head of security for the Alinghi consortium, which funded the Swiss America’s Cup bid. It was revealed that Tempero found firearms on Vava – owned by Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli – when she was moored at the viaduct in Auckland harbour and handed them in to police.