Quote from Daily Telegraph:
THE Chaser pranksters charged for breaching APEC security with a bogus motorcade that came close to George W. Bush's hotel say police gave them permission.
ABC TV which airs the satirical The Chaser's War on Everything, and the program's producers, said in a statement last night that The Chaser team had no intention of entering the APEC restricted zone.
They had no knowledge that they had entered a restricted zone, the statement said.
“The motorcade proceeded down Macquarie Street with the permission of police.
“When The Chaser reached the perimeter of what they thought was the APEC restricted zone, they voluntarily turned around.
“The police only detained The Chaser motorcade when it was turning around and after Chas Licciardello emerged from a car dressed as Osama bin Laden.
The statement said The Chaser team members were wearing mock “insecurity” passes, which expressly stated they were a joke.
But the head of the APEC investigation squad, NSW Police Force Detective Superintendent Ken McKay was not amused.
He issued his own statement last night, but he didn't mention police had given permission to the comedians.
“While it appears it was a prank, the current APEC security environment isn't the place to do it in,” he said.
“Who they are is irrelevant - they were charged like anyone else who breaks the law.”
The Chaser team breached the multi-million dollar APEC security operation yesterday by driving a fake motorcade through security checkpoints.
The convoy of three black cars, decked out to resemble an official Canadian motorcade, came within metres of the hotel where US President George W. Bush is staying, before finally being pulled over by authorities.
Eleven people were arrested, including The Chaser's Chas Licciardello, who sat in the back of one of the cars dressed as Osama bin Laden.
Also arrested was The Chaser's Julian Morrow, who posed as a security guard running alongside the motorcade.
All 11, ten men and one woman aged between 25 and 47, were charged with entering a restricted area without justification.
The charge comes under newly legislated APEC laws that restrict anyone from entering declared zones during APEC.
Authorities had warned there would be a presumption against bail for people arrested in the APEC security zone, but all were granted bail to appear in the Downing Centre Local Court on October 4.