For the Privileges Committee to do its job, and reach a fair conclusion on whether the $100,000 Owen Glenn donation should have been declared on the MPs Register of Pecuniary Interests, they are going to need to be able to answer the following question:
- Who or what was the $100,000 paid to?
- Why was it donated?
- Who knew about it?
That is not an exhaustive list. But even off that, what sort of evidence would you want, so one could make a fair conclusion. Rodney Hide has suggested that Owen Glenn should give evidence – maybe by video conference. It is almost unthinkable that one can resolve this issue without hearing from the donor. I would expect evidence to include the following:
- Testimony from Owen Glenn on why he donated, who he thought he was donating to, and who did he discuss the donation or the possibility of a donation with?
- Testimony from Steve Fisher as to why he said it was vital Glenn did not contradict Peters?
- A full forensic investigation of the money –
- Who was the cheque/draft made out to?
- Into what account was it paid?
- Was it the Spencer Trust?
- Was the money passed onto someone else?
- What bills were paid with it?
- Was the $40,000 damages to Clarkson (which is beyond dispute a personal debt) paid for by way of donation – whether Glenn or someone else?
- Does Peters personally make up any shortfall in the costs for his legal actions?
- Would Peters have paid over time at least $500 more to Henry, if the donation had not been made?
- How many donations of greater than $500 have been made towards the legal fees?
- Expert advice from the Law Society regarding barristers fees?
- If money was donated to a formal trust (such as the Spencer) is Peters a beneficiary of it, which requires a declaration on the Register?