The SFO evidence

September 19th, 2008 at 6:41 am by David Farrar

No wonder Peters and Cullen are both highly upset at the .  The Herald speculates that the SFO may have told the that the Spencer Trust paid the $40,000 court costs that Peters paid .

If this is true, it is devastating for Peters and his Labour defenders.

The $40,000 is crucial because there is no doubt it was a debt owed by Winston Peters personally to Bob Clarkson. There is an arguable case about whether money given to Henry is paying off Winston’s debts as Henry claims he never invoices Peters. But there is no doubt over the $40,000.

After Brian Henry testified that he paid the $40,000 to Clarkson, it then became clear that this meant Peters had broken the Register’s rules by not declaring that Henry had paid $40,000 on his behalf. But suddenly two days later Peters and Henry claimed Peters had repaid Henry so there was breach on that issue.

If the Herald is correct, and the Spencer Trust reimbursed Henry for the $40,000, then what does it mean?

  1. That Peters broke the rules of the Register by not declaring The Spencer Trust in his annual return.
  2. That Peters and Henry both lied when they claimed Peters had paid Brian Henry back
  3. That Winston has such control of the Spencer Trust, that he can get it to pay his personal bills

Now in an attempt to divert attention from the evidence, Peters and Cullen are going on about a letter that may have been sent by an anonymous SFO staff member some months ago to Ron Mark, criticising Mark for supporting the SFO being wound up.

It was wrong for that staff member to write such a letter, and they should be given a kick in the behind. However this is not exactly the crime of the century. Thousands of state employees have written letters to MPs on issues affecting their employer – anyone remember thousands of firefighters collecting petitions for a referendum to stop their restructuring? However one does expect a higher level of standards from SFO staff and the Director should kick butt now he knows of the letter.

But for the Attorney-General to refuse to express confidence in the SFO Director, due to the actions of one staff member, is appalling. Make no mistake Cullen is not concerned by the letter – he is aghast the SFO may have told the truth to the Privileges Committee and damaged the Government. Cullen is reacting as an accessory after the fact, not as the Attorney-General.

If the Herald is correct, and the SFO does have information that the Spencer Trust paid (back) the $40,000 debt to Bob Clarkson, it would have been outraegous for them to sit on that information. They are reported as having asked the Auditor-General and the Clerk of the House whether they should inform the Privileges Committee of evidence that contradicts the public version of events by the Foreign Minister. Both agencies presumably said “Of course you should, it would be wrong to allow the Privileges Committee make a decision on false information”.

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32 Responses to “The SFO evidence”

  1. freedom101 (439 comments) says:

    I’m sure that since both Henry and Peters are honourable gentlemen there must be an innocent explanation. And we know from Dr Cullen that the SFO chief is not honourable, so that clears things up completely. I am so relieved.

    And what will the Law Society do if one of their members is caught lying to the Privileges Committee?

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  2. NeillR (345 comments) says:

    It was wrong for that staff member to write such a letter, and they should be given a kick in the behind.

    Dood, i’m surprised you’d fall for this old one. I’m betting the anonymous letter came straight from the ninth floor. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time!

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  3. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,786 comments) says:

    More CORRUPTION from Labour and Winston First.

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  4. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Is there a copy of the letter available?

    What was the date of this anonymous letter?

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  5. reid (15,585 comments) says:

    WhaleOil’s extremely interesting comment several weeks ago which I can’t currently link to, is germane.

    Basically he said he had good information that when Peters, Williams and Clark met in a Hotel ostensibly to discuss Peters’ future, the real subject was the tactics they would use to deal with the general Peters issue.

    The upshot was that Clark et al would concentrate on painting the Privilages Committee as driven by partisan interests, while Peters would concentrate on painting the SFO as investigating merely because they were upset at being disbanded.

    Just listened to Marks on Radio Left Wing. He got the letter on 22 August and immediately told Peters. They have sat on it till now.

    Not only is this Liarbore govt turning out on the evidence to be the most corrupt in our history, these pricks are acting like genuine dictators, smearing one and all in a desparate attempt to cover their tracks.

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  6. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    If the Herald is correct, and the Spencer Trust reimbursed Henry for the $40,000, then what does it mean?

    That Peters broke the rules of the Register by not declaring The Spencer Trust in his annual return.
    That Peters and Henry both lied when they claimed Peters had paid Brian Henry back
    That Winston has such control of the Spencer Trust, that he can get it to pay his personal bills

    Regardless of gaping jawed Cullen, and letters of outrage to Ron Marks, these facts remain. Game over. Doesn’t matter who found them or why. If they are facts, they remain facts. Only option now is for Helen and Cullen to publicly expose their own corruption. If National now sit by quietly and do not put them under the spotlight, they deserve to lose the election. Spell it out, National, over and over and over! Bye Bye Winnie.

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  7. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Are people actually taking this letter as serious? This is desperation at it’s finest and the people involved have already proven they have a penchant for being unmitigated manipulators of veracity (or whatever that beautiful phrase from Owen Glen was).
    This letter is as fictitious as Dr Cullen’s assertion that Auckland Airport was a strategic asset yet the Vector Wellington grid wasn’t. It is without doubt a fabrication, it has been done before and no doubt we will see more in the weeks to come.

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  8. Viking2 (10,733 comments) says:

    Slightly off subject but; Winston has yet to declare that he is going to stand again. There is absolutely no sign of him in his “home” electorate and there so far is nary a sign from NZF to be seen. (nor from Labour for that matter.)
    We could just say that currently he is very busy in Wgtn. (what an ideal way to keep your opponents from walking the streets. Keep it up guys.)
    Never thought he was going to stand here again.

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  9. petal (698 comments) says:

    …and all over the heads of normal people that will see this as a Winston beat up.

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  10. Neil (528 comments) says:

    I listened to Ron Mark on Morning Report and I thought it was Winston with a changed voice.
    It was marked with arrogance,rudeness,distorting the truth and all those matters that Peters and Cullen have been showing.
    Mark is a very nasty piece of work, in the light of the immininent demise of NZ First they are throwing everything into this last battle. The whole NZ First caucus are” fruit cakes”
    The Roy Morgan poll once again seems to be far away from the actual state of affairs. It overrates Labour and as for NZ First at 5% ! I didn’t realize 5% of New Zealanders were that stupid to believe in hobgoblins !!!!!!!!!

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  11. Rodney Hide (59 comments) says:

    I apologise for a long post and for posting what I have drafted as a press release which will go out later today. However, I think the matter of significant importance and my views may be of interest in the blog debate.

    Rodney

    Helen Clark Must Condemn Cullen-Peters Mugabe Tactics

    ACT Leader Rodney Hide today called on Prime Minister Helen Clark to condemn Winston Peters’ attack on the integrity of the Serious Fraud Office and Attorney-General Michael Cullen’s failure to express confidence in SFO Director Grant Liddell.

    “Our senior Ministers are now publicly bullying independent investigators attempting to do a difficult job in trying circumstances. It’s a political tactic designed to get the SFO to back off their investigations of Minister Winston Peters. It’s a tactic sanctioned by Helen Clark.

    “New Zealanders want honest government, Ministers held to account by the same laws as the rest of us, and a fearlessly independent civil service and police force. We do not want our civil service and police politically-cowered Mugabe-style, and guilt and truth dictated by our Prime Minister.

    “I laid the original complaint with the SFO. I have supplied them with additional evidence. I have at all times been impressed by the professionalism and integrity of their officers. New Zealanders can be rightly proud of the men and women working at the SFO and with our police. I know from my direct experience that I am.

    “Mr Peters’ said it would be cleared up in five minutes. We have then had the bluff and bluster. We have suffered the contortions as his story twists and turns to fit the facts. We now have the direct political attacks on the investigators supported by the Minister in charge of the SFO. It’s deeply disturbing and disgusting. I trust New Zealanders can see it for what it is.

    “Helen Clark must condemn the Cullen-Peters’ attacks and reassert the independence of the SFO and her confidence in their integrity and ability to do the job,” said Rodney Hide.

    Thank you for the time and space.

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  12. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    One letter to one MP, and anonymous. Hmmmmm.

    Not a rant to Labour who have been the main movers and shakers.

    Instead to NZF, and in August? Yet the SFO merging with Police announcement was in February/March. The Timing is very convenient methinks.

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  13. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    It is like having an anonymous affitdavit.

    Of no value whatsoever. Will it get printed somewhere?

    Cullen has a real problem, is that because Merril Lynch are responsible for problems in Fiji, and East Timor, and the Palestine?

    Has Helen Clark forgotten about troops that she sent to Iraq, and Afghanistan?

    Happy enough with the photo opportunity with a proud VC.

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  14. Ross Miller (1,624 comments) says:

    If the SFO evidence is as reported then it is damning and I can see why Winston has released the ‘Mark’ letter to divert attention away from the fact that he and Henry may now be seen in the court of public opinion as having pergured themselves (yes I acknowledge their evidence was not on oath … so what)

    I fully expect Labour’s lackeys in the MSM to focus on the letter rather than the issue at hand.

    A side bar to this is this mornings Roy Morgan poll. Sure National was up 3% and sure their lead increased by another 4.5% with Labour down 1.5%. But NZF to 5% is a surprise explained in part by the apparent leakage of Labour support to them. While it appears that Labour supporters (in this poll and remember its only one poll) are themselves deciding to vote tactically to give Helen another coalition partner I would be suprised if they were reacting to any direction from on high because that would mean that Labour was sacrificing its own MPs (although on reflection perhaps that scenario is not too far fetched).

    The other suprise is to see ACT mired on 1.5%. Does it mean that Douglas is a real frightener or is it something else? Can’t quite get my head around this

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  15. Reb (249 comments) says:

    I laid the original complaint with the SFO. I have supplied them with additional evidence. I have at all times been impressed by the professionalism and integrity of their officers. New Zealanders can be rightly proud of the men and women working at the SFO and with our police. I know from my direct experience that I am.

    Is this the same SFO that during the Winebox Inquiry couldn’t even define the meaning of the word ‘fraud’, and whose Head back then is the current Chief Electoral Officer that many were bagging only a year ago?

    [DPF: No. It is the IRD Commissioner who became Chief Electoral Officer and he retired after the 2005 election. And he in fact showed great integrity in referring Labour to the Police for their pledge card]

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  16. thedavincimode (6,129 comments) says:

    More lies.

    I happen to know that Bobo the labrador was in fact traced to a not particularly secret Herne Bay address and found asleep in front of the fireplace. When questioned regarding suggestions that he ate the indisputable evidence clearing WP of all these unscrupulous allegations, Bobo refused to comment. However, after sustained interrogation, Bobo eventually said “woof” before ambling away to sleep under the dining table. Animal trainers have been consulted regarding the meaning of this response and whether one “woof” means “yes” or “no”. It appears that if indeed the SFO has in fact alleged this use of $40,000 of trust funds, it can only be on the basis that “woof” means “no”. Unconfirmed reports raise the possibility that a sign reading “NO” was also found at the scene which may have lead SFO to the conclusion that this corroborates their interpretation of Bobo’s response. If this hypothesis is established as correct, it would nevertheless require that Bobo’s paw prints be identified on the sign which would in turn necessitate that such evidence had not been contaminated by sticky fingers.

    As we all know, “no” means “yes” and “take your hands of me you revolting little creep” means “no”.

    Game, set and match. WP innocent and being wrongly hung out out to dry just because Bobo was feeling a bit peckish.

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  17. Reb (249 comments) says:

    I laid the original complaint with the SFO. I have supplied them with additional evidence. I have at all times been impressed by the professionalism and integrity of their officers. New Zealanders can be rightly proud of the men and women working at the SFO and with our police. I know from my direct experience that I am.

    Is this the same SFO you bagged in your book The Power To Destroy as useless when you went to them for help regarding Dave Henderson’s IRD troubles?

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  18. NZD.JPY (130 comments) says:

    Rodney Hide – You’ve got my thanks and my vote. Classy stuff.

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  19. toms (301 comments) says:

    And the Yellow Gibbon wins today’s Mugabe Prize.

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  20. democracymum (660 comments) says:

    I am interested as to why Labour and NZ First seem hell bent on getting rid of the SFO

    Where was that in their manifesto during the last election?
    Must have been on the same page as

    Antismacking laws
    The Electoral Finance Act
    The ETS
    The Knighthoods
    etc etc

    The thesis work the other day regarding Politicians trustworthiness needed to include not just their
    promises but the additional legislation they introduce and pass without a mandate from the the NZ public.

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  21. coventry (307 comments) says:

    So the money that Glenn supplied (for the legal battle & settlement) was used to fund Winston’s trip to Vegas instead ?

    Someone should ask Glenn what he thinks of that misuse of his money.

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  22. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    WHERE ARE THE ARRESTS?? WHERE IS THE JUSTICE??

    WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY IS THIS????

    KLARK AND HER ACOLYTES HAVE THE ARROGANT HYPOCRISY TO SNEER AT FIJI’S GOVERNMENT??? THEY’RE NO BETTER.

    THERE HAS TO BE CHARGES AND ARRESTS. THIS IS A DISGRACEFUL ASSAULT ON OUR DEMOCRACY.

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  23. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    Redbaiter, I am confident that justice will be done. Once National+ACT are in power Clark, Goff, Cullen, Maharey and other criminals will be put on trial alongside the rapists, murderers and con artists who are their ideological allies and be sentenced for corruption and treason.

    Sadly there is a fair chance that Clark will be on a plane to New York to accept a UN office the night of the election, thus getting diplomatic immunity… but John Key knows this is a possibility and will hopefully be drawing up a plan with the police force to sequester Clark, her husband and her properties to prevent any such flight.

    Still even if the person of Clark escapes justice we will at least know that she is held accoutnable and that even as she castigates the New Zealand government from her socialist refuge in New York the people of New Zealand will know that never again will corrupt kleptocrats be able to run the country for the benefit of they and their shady overseas foreign dictator allies.

    It’s a shame we weren’t able to do the same thing after 1975.

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  24. burt (7,091 comments) says:

    Redbaiter

    WHERE ARE THE ARRESTS?? WHERE IS THE JUSTICE??

    Exactly…

    It’s a disgrace.

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  25. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    If this was some small businessman who hadn’t paid his taxes, they’d be slamming the door on his Mount Eden cell by now. The SFO needs to get its useless arse into gear or fuck off.

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  26. NeillR (345 comments) says:

    When are we going to demand a higher standard? In Israel, the PM stood down because of allegations of corruption. Here in NZ allegations of corruption are met with snide attacks on the authorities charged with protecting the peoples’ interests. We blunder around, cocooned in our “she’ll be right attitude”, deluding ourselves that corruption only ever happens elsewhere in the world. :(

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  27. petal (698 comments) says:

    “If this was some small businessman who hadn’t paid his taxes, they’d be slamming the door on his Mount Eden cell by now.”

    Worth a repeat, I thought.

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  28. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    yet more evidence if we needed it of a Government mired in unethical and immoral conduct

    If we had a Code of Conduct and Ethics for members of the Parliament and if compliants were heard by a Council of Citizens drawn up in the same manner as juries this case against Peters would have been dealt with in an appropriate manner.

    Does anyone want to suggest the cuurent jury system is a complete failure and if so give us your preferred alternatives.

    Government is of the people by the people for the people This has been ignored by the current Parliament

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  29. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Lets hope the SFO calls these corrupt bastards bluff and mounts an all out attack. Nothing ventured nothing gained as they say. If the dark side prevails you can be assured there will be blood spilt, SFO blood. Arseholes like the poodle realise that so many of those in the top echelons of power are in the pockets of corrupt left, are there enough honest and true kiwis left to challenge these pricks, are there enough left who havn’t sold their souls to the evil ones? I fear there are not if there were we would be free of a few malignant tumours by now.

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  30. Ramsay (123 comments) says:

    Just heard Peters speak in Dunedin. All superficial bluster and no substance when talking about the economy. Finished off with a couple of very sexist jokes – what a greasy creep. Someone on a blog recently compared him to a snake-oil salesman – Peters would give snake-oil salesmen a bad name!!

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  31. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    ssb Sadly this is why we dont have any real whiste blowing on the baddies in NZ A toxic combination of our laws that allow good people to be silenced by threat and a culture starting at the very top of concealment mean that good people walk rather than exposing the crooks.

    Until we get an Agean Stables clean out from the top and effective Whistle Blowing Law then we will continue to see evil bastards thrive and prosper whilst good people have no where to go to expose them.

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  32. DJP6-25 (1,235 comments) says:

    Keep up the good work Rodney.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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