A legal analysis of the NZF complaint

September 22nd, 2008 at 2:59 pm by David Farrar

As people will have read, NZ First is outraged that the has revealed to the that the evidence given by Peters and Henry is false. I mean shame on the SFO – how dare they reveal the truth. What sort of law enforcement body do they think they are.

So NZ First have complained to the Police about the SFO. Now this is of course a media stunt -designed to maybe convince the most stupid 5% of the electorate. For the benefit of the other 95%, I’ll link to Dean Knight – a public law specialist at Victoria University.

Dean makes four points:

  1. s39 of the Serious Fraud Act does not apply as the information given to the SFO was not protected under some other Act (which is linked to the SFO’s coercive power to require information protected under other legislation)
  2. s36 might apply as it refers to a wider set of information but 36(2)(e) allows the Director to disclose to “any person who the Director is satisfied has a proper interest in receiving such information” and Dean says a committee of Parliament fits this definition
  3. Regardless the letter to the Privileges Committee is covered by parliamentary privilege under the Bill of Rights 1688
  4. Those complaining about the letter may be in contempt of Parliament as Standing Order 400w includes ” assaulting, threatening or disadvantaging a person on account of evidence given by that person to the House or committee”

So Peters and NZ First may be in contempt of Parliament (again) due to their attacks on the SFO for telling the truth to the Privileges Committee. If Parliament wasn’t about to dissolve, it would be worth an MP writing to the Speaker about!

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15 Responses to “A legal analysis of the NZF complaint”

  1. V (660 comments) says:

    Point 5. They laid the complaint to Masterton police after being laughed out of the Wellington police station.

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  2. chfr (126 comments) says:

    If this was not so serious it would actually be funny. These guys remind me of my 3 year old;

    Have you got poos???

    No Mummy

    Are you sure???

    Yes

    Are you really sure???

    OH you mean those poos but the dog did them!!!

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  3. freethinker (648 comments) says:

    I sincerely hope that John Key if national form the next government ensures that the SFO and other agencies including the po lice fully investigate and prosecute if proved the serious perceived breaches of law by all members of this administration including party staffers and civil servants.

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  4. llew (1,532 comments) says:

    When do we find out what the SFO told the committee?

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  5. David Farrar (1,811 comments) says:

    Llew – presumably tomorrow.

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  6. Inventory2 (9,791 comments) says:

    DPF – there were suggestions on the radio earlier that the report will be posted on the Parliament website tonight some time – I will certainly be checking. Barry Soper is just now saying on ZB that the report must be tabled tonight in order to be debated tomorrow.

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  7. big bruv (12,380 comments) says:

    Moves like this just reinforces how corrupt our political system has become under Labour, it also highlights why so many people distrust our legal system.

    Many of us who are not lawyers are still naive enough to think that this should be about he truth, it should not matter where or how the truth is reached, we just want to find our what bloody happened.

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  8. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    The Winnocent Peters Report

    Winnocent ain’t innocent,
    he’s a lying cheating shite,
    but we dare not question Hullun,
    Cos Hullun’s always right.

    It’s in the peoples interest,
    For Winnocent to walk,
    To support the Labour government,
    And so he doesn’t talk.

    How irrational of National,
    To think they’d score a win,
    Cos questioning the commandant,
    In Helengrad’s a sin.

    With the po-po’s in her pocket,
    The SFO in Cullen’s grip,
    Owen Glenn and the Hollowmen,
    Can’t sink our leaky ship.

    And so the lies continue,
    with Winnie by our side,
    We’ll steal another election,
    Eat shit Rodney Hide!

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  9. John Dalley (394 comments) says:

    National will be hoping like hell that the”stupid 5%” as you call them David does not turn in to an even “Stuped-er” 7 or 10%
    then John Key will truely be another short lived National Leader.
    Bill will be starting to like the odds on being the next party leader.

    [DPF: Yes I am hoping NZ First get under 5%. Very amusing to see everyone on the left now a cheer leader for them.]

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  10. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    big bruv Ahh remember Will Shakespeare said’ the first thing we must do is kill all the lawyers”

    The truth good ethics and good morals are but a disconnect to the legal profession.

    They are about the law. Not justice the law. Made by the criminals of the politican class to punish the good citizens.

    When the revolution comes the good citizens will separate the politican class and the legal class heads from their shoulders.

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  11. CraigM (692 comments) says:

    “…….then John Key will truely be another short lived National Leader”.

    The sad thing is that people that think like you can actually allow this to happen. I mean, what kind of moronic dickhead truely wants another term of Clark & Cullen, with a side dish of Peters?

    Seriously, are there really moronic dickheads out there that want that for NZ? Forget your politics for a moment and just think about what you are saying?

    FFS. I just don’t get it.

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  12. deanknight (263 comments) says:

    Point 4 might be stated a little more strongly than in my item… I’m more equivocal about whether a complainant fits within the provision… But otherwise, you capture the gist.

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  13. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    WTF don’t we have laws about wasting police time and laying false complaints ?

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  14. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    Yes Put it away, we do. But that – like every other law on the books – is often used selectively by the police, in the service of their own ends: either having a go at people who’ve annoyed them in some way, or to kowtow to their politial masters so that, in return, they’ll be granted more and more powers to have a go at those who’ve annoyed them…

    It’s what those less polite than myself might call a circle jerk, with our “unbiased” constabulary the most enthusiastic players of all.

    As gd says “The truth good ethics and good morals are but a disconnect to the legal profession”. In many cases that’s true, though I’ve known a handful of lawyers willing – all the while knowing they’ll end up on the police “people we don’t like” list – who’ll stand up to malicious prosecution or insist on a prosecution when the police are in “nothing to see here” mode.

    On the other hand, while by no means are all police corrupt, the incidence of anyone in a blue uniform standing up and exposing what goes on are so rare as to be non-existent.

    Take for instance the case of the man who just happens to be President of the Council for Civil Liberties here in WA. First off he’s sacked for allegedly sexually harassing staff only to have the whole thing chucked out of court, named as a suspect in a notorious serial killing and is regularly raided by Police but never charged, and most recently accused of another high-profile murder but not arrested (yet someone had tipped off a camera crew about the police raid in an attempt to further smear him).

    The police will serve whomsoever it chooses them to serve in the advancement of their own interests. They rarely serve the truth, let alone morals and ethics.

    Taking NZF’s case will please their political masters, it’s as simple as that. Who knows what the quid pro quo will be, but there’ll be one. The right to carry a weapon on duty, perhaps?

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  15. peterwn (2,938 comments) says:

    Dean is also very clued up on criminal law and has done prosecutions under RMA and other Acts.

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