The Dom Post reports:
Police national headquarters confirmed this week that the file’s release was imminent, after fighting its disclosure for more than a year.
A Brash ally, government relations consultant Matthew Hooton, has been battling police for more than a year over their refusal to release the file. He took the case to the ombudsman.
Mr Hooton was yesterday cautious about the police about-turn. “We may be pleasantly surprised, but our understanding is that the file will be so heavily censored as to be meaningless and we expect the matter will return to the ombudsman or even end up in the courts.”
Dr Brash said police had told him they were about to release the file and had sent him a “heavily censored” version.
This is ridicolous. Why won’t they release the full version, rather than one with 90% redacted?
Hooton in NBR states:
The file will be so heavily censored it will largely be blank and will contain no new information. This pseudo-release follows an Official Information Act (OIA) request my government relations firm lodged on May 27, 2007. Under the law, PNHQ had 20 days to respond. In fact, getting to this point, two years later, has required enormous effort by my staff and pro bono assistance from Kensington Swan.
Lest anyone think police files can’t be released, the “paintergate” press conference, at which PNHQ announced Ms Clark would not face forgery charges, suggests otherwise. Then, PNHQ staff told journalists that if they scribbled down an OIA request, the file would be released, uncensored, the same day.
I think Mr Hooton and Kensington Swan need to press on – even if it means court action. Hell I can think of a lot of people who might donate to help cover the costs.
Let the truth come out.