At the request of the Australia II syndicate, a judge threw out a trespassing charge today against a Canadian crew member in the America's Cup races.
"We have received an affidavit from the Australian America's Cup executive director requesting us not to proceed," City Solicitor Turner Scott told the judge in Newport District Court.
"The camera will be returned to Mr. Johnston. The film will be turned over to the Australian syndicate."
Judge John Cappelli immediately dismissed the case without payment of court costs. The defendant, James W. Johnston, 39, of Victoria, British Columbia, did not appear in court.
Johnston was arrested early Saturday after an Australian crew member grabbed him while he was swimming near the Australian boat, which has a secret keel shape kept hidden behind plastic sheets and plywood. Police confiscated Johnston's underwater camera.
The Australian captor, Philip Judge, said another swimmer got away.
Johnston pleaded innocent at his arraignment Saturday before a justice of the peace and was released on personal recognizance.
Australia II is the leading foreign yacht in the America's Cup trial races here with a 29-3 record. Her crew and support group have refused to talk about the keel, which reportedly has fins and a bulbous shape at the bottom.
In today's races, Dennis Conner's Liberty defeated an old adversary, Courageous, twice, boosting Conner's confidence that his crew will be selected to defend the cup in September.
Although Courageous won both starts, the red-hulled Liberty dashed past to leave Courageous trailing by 1:34 in the first race and by 1:10 in the second.