Owen’s phone records

September 8th, 2008 at 8:42 am by David Farrar

The Dominion Post suggests phone records could turn up the heat on Winston Peters. And indeed they could, but not Owen’s.

Owen as the recepient of the call from Peters would not have the call turn up on his phone records. It is possible he phoned Peters, but the more likely scenario is that Peters phoned Glenn.

The phone records of Peters or his staff are going to be more productive to search, but sadly for Winston they can only confirm if a call was made, they can not prove a call was not made – as it may have been from an unknown phone.

Ministerial Services pay the bills for Minister’s cell phones, landlines and staff cellphones also. As a parliamentary agency they will of course co-operate with the Privileges Committee. So I suggest they be asked to supply the call statements for the dates in questions.

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6 Responses to “Owen’s phone records”

  1. emmess (1,420 comments) says:

    An interesting contrast between two Prime Ministers
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7603129.stm

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  2. calendar girl (1,214 comments) says:

    Slightly off your theme, David, but still on the subject of NZ1’s undeclared “big business” donations ……..

    Audrey Young’s piece in today’s “Herald” reveals that four months ago (13 May) the Electoral Commission office knew about donations of close to $80K (in 8 bite-sized chunks of just under $10K each) from related company interests. How did it know? Because NZ1’s auditor Nick Kosoof rang to ask about NZ1’s reporting obligations when the party had received “a cheque deposited for one sum made up of donations from eight companies each for under $10,000 and where there is some relationship between the companies via their directors and shareholders”. So let’s get this straight:

    – NZ1 failed to file its 2007 donations declaration by the due date of 30 April 2008.
    – By 13 May the “Statutory Relationship Manager” of the Electoral Commission knew of a single donation cheque deposited to NZ1 of close to $80K. (The Spencer Trust has since been identified as the immediate source.)
    – She knew that NZ1’s auditor himself had doubts about the party’s reporting obligations in this instance because he had phoned to seek advice. He has recently confirmed those doubts, but said that he did not discuss them in May with Winston Peters.
    – The said Manager advised Kosoof in writing (email) that the Commission “was not able to provide definitive answers to queries in the absence of supporting information.”
    – Party President Groombridge revealed in early May that the statutory declaration was late because it relied on Peters (then overseas) “tying up the final loose ends” when he returned to New Zealand on 16 May.
    – Peters must have duly “tied up” the loose ends on 16 May because the donations return was filed that day. But we know from Kosoof himself that he had not discussed the matter with Peters. So whatever the party’s auditor’s views or doubts might have been, in the end result he proved to be irrelevant to the statutory process involving NZ1.
    – Peters took personal control of the non-complying donations return, and therefore bears personal responsibility for any breach of the law.

    Given its significant knowledge at that time, why did the Electoral Commission not investigate the “Nil” return immediately after 16 May?

    Why has the sidelined Kosoof not resigned as NZ1’s auditor? After all, the party / Peters appears to treat his professional role as an irrelevancy.

    Much more importantly, what was the timing of the 8 donations to the Spencer Trust? And how did the timing of such donations relate (if at all) to the Minister of Racing’s proud announcements of substantial financial assistance to the racing and breeding industries – large subsidies for prize money for premier races, and cuts in depreciation rates on horses (if I recall correctly) from 16% to 4%?

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  3. PaulL (6,030 comments) says:

    I think it depends on the billing arrangements as to whether you get an itemised bill. In the US I believe the call receiver (on a mobile phone) pays for the call. In that instance, the call receiver gets a fully itemised bill of whom called. If Glenn was in Monaco, then the technology in Europe for call tracking tends to be better than here – they do more international calls. And if Glenn was out of the country, then he would have paid a call forward charge from Monaco to whereever he was. And that call forward charge is usually itemised.

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  4. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    Much more importantly, what was the timing of the 8 donations to the Spencer Trust? And how did the timing of such donations relate (if at all) to the Minister of Racing’s proud announcements of substantial financial assistance to the racing and breeding industries – large subsidies for prize money for premier races, and cuts in depreciation rates on horses (if I recall correctly) from 16% to 4%?

    Yes, and the same issue for the fishing industry. These matters are the nub of the issue for me. There appears to be evidence (or at least unusually strong coincidence) connecting donations sources with favourable legislative consideration.

    Back on topic – I can’t see phone records being all that useful. It’s the conversation itself that would be the smoking gun.

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  5. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    So if the SFO can tie donations to requests for shall we say ‘favourable outcomes” for the donors then NO Tell me it isnt so Surely not in the land of the uncorruptable politican and civil servant

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  6. adc (588 comments) says:

    actually the telcos (e.g. Telecom, Vodafone) all log details of all calls on their networks and keep those logs for years. this includes date/time, number calling and number called, and duration.

    The police access these records all the time for all manner of investigations. In fact every text sent is also logged and is commonly scrutinized by police.

    Presumably the SFO would have similar powers of discovery to the police.

    All it would take would be to get the number Owen Glenn received the call on, and a call by the police (or presumably the SFO) to Telecom and/or Vodafone and you’d soon quickly clear up if he was called by any phone traceable to Winnie.

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