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Australian rugby star not prosecuted over alleged assault of taxi driver

George Smith
George Smith plays for the Suntory Sungoliath (TV Asahi)

TOKYO (TR) – Prosecutors have announced the non-prosecution of Australian professional rugby player George Smith over the alleged assault of a taxi driver in Fuchu City late last year, reports Fuji News Network (Jan. 19).

In the early morning hours of December 31, Smith, who plays in Japan for Suntory Sungoliath, left the cab near his residence without paying the 10,000-yen fare. After the male driver, 58, chased him down, Smith allegedly beat him in the face.

The driver suffered injuries required two weeks to heal.

At the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court on Friday, Smith was not prosecuted. A reason for the non-prosecution was not given. He had been released the day before.

At the time of his arrest on suspicion of robbery resulting in injury, Smith was intoxicated. He denied the allegations, telling police he did not recall the incident since he was drunk.

For more than 10 years, Smith was a flanker on the Australian national team. In 2011, he became the highest paid Australian rugby player joining Suntory on a three-year contract valued at around 270 million yen.