David Fifita forced to pay $30,000 for freedom


The Herald has learned Fifita was isolated for about five hours immediately after he was arrested by Bali police.

He was then presented with a local legal representative and signed over power of attorney before Brisbane welfare officer Adam Walsh had arrived to help negotiate the peace agreement.

His release was then delayed on Monday afternoon as Bali police tried to broker a bigger fee at the last minute.

“There has been a lot going on behind the scenes and I am really grateful for that,” Fifita said on arrival in Brisbane. “It’s a great feeling to be home to see my family.

“I’ve learned a big lesson from what I’ve been through these last few days.”

The Herald has been told the young forward experienced some spartan conditions while in custody and had to use a bottle to urinate.

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Broncos CEO Paul White confirmed money had exchanged hands when he fronted Brisbane media on Tuesday morning.

“Any compensation that was paid was agreed upon by David’s legal representative – David’s lawyer over there – and David himself,” White said.

White also said Fifita’s side of the story will differ from the version of events reported by police and by extension, media reports in the last few days.

“I guess the story of what has played out in the media over the last few days – David will have a different version of events to that which has played out in public,” White said.

“We look forward to the NRL actually investigating David’s version of events and what happened over there.

“I know, having a policing background, that being in a cell is not a great experience, and being in one in a foreign country was pretty confronting.”

Paul White confirmed money exchanged hands on Tuesday.Credit:AAP

Speaking at a promotional event for next year’s Magic Round in Brisbane, NRL CEO Todd Greenberg was clearly frustrated with the string of off-field incidents that continue to plague the code during the off-season.

“I get frustrated. I am frustrated. Because there are so many good stories to be told,” Greenberg said.

“I’ve flown here to Brisbane today to promote what is one of the great innovations in rugby league (Magic Round).

“Last year we brought 130,000 fans to one stadium in one weekend.

“We did something no other sport in this country has done. And no one has asked me a question about it.”

“I’m frustrated because I want to talk about the good things that are happening in rugby league, I want to talk about the great things that our players do off the field.

“Unfortunately, I’m a realist and I know that when someone makes a poor decision I have to be accountable and I have to talk about it. I’d prefer to be talking about the good things but one bad thing creates headlines.”

Todd Greenberg is fed up with poor player behaviour.

Todd Greenberg is fed up with poor player behaviour.Credit:AAP

Greenberg admitted the Fifita and Nelson Asofa-Solomona incidents were a “terrible look” for the game.

“It’s a terrible look. Most importantly, he’s home and he’s safe. He’s back with his family. I’m very happy about that,” Greenberg said.

“It’s up to the integrity unit now to quickly try and get to the bottom of that.

“I’m sure that will happen quickly, over the next few days, so I can view a report.”

White said NRL players should reconsider their choice of holiday destination, given the same Bali nightclub has already tripped up two players this off-season.

“I think there will be plenty of players – not only at our club but at others – who will have looked at the last few weeks and reconsider,” he said.

“As I said, I think David made a poor choice of being in that precinct – that nightclub precinct – at that early hour of the morning. Sometimes you have to accept that is where the fault lies.”

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