Fifita pays up for freedom
BOOM Broncos forward David Fifita was forced to pay $30,000 out of his own pocket to secure his freedom from a Bali cell on Monday afternoon.
A typical peace agreement - which is commonplace in the Balinese legal system and is signed by police and an alleged victim to allow charges against an arrested civilian to be dropped - usually costs the person behind bars about $10,000.
However, reports indicate Fifita had to pay three times that amount before he was allowed to fly home to Brisbane on Tuesday because of media attention surrounding the incident and his high profile.
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Fifita had spent three days before bars in a harrowing ordeal since he was accused of assaulting nightclub security guard Dani Irawan in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Insiders say 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 had 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."
Fifita had to endure tough conditions in his cell and was forced to urinate into a plastic water bottle.
Broncos CEO Paul White confirmed money had exchanged hands when he fronted Brisbane media on Tuesday.
"Any compensation that was paid was agreed upon by David's legal representative - David's lawyer over there - and David himself," White said.
"That is something between David and the alleged victim.
"These peace agreements are part of these types of incidents, the settlement of these type of incidents, and they do involve an agreement between two parties.
"I look forward to the integrity unit being able to speak to Dave and take his version of events and make an independent judgement."
Fifita is set to enter the final year of his NRL contract with Brisbane and is widely considered the hottest free agent available for the 2021 season.
He has been linked with a number of NRL clubs on deals worth a reported $1 million a season.