The Serious Fraud Office has released a timeline of its investigation into the NZ First Foundation, showing it will be completed before the September election.
The outcome of the investigation will determine whether or not the SFO will formally lay charges in relation to the Foundation. …
SFO investigations are known for being comprehensive and lengthy and there was some doubt that an investigation would be completed by election day, September 19.
But an SFO spokesperson told Stuff it had planned to complete the investigation before September and that it’s timeframe had not been altered by the Coronavirus lockdown.
“The SFO’s pre-lockdown timetable for the investigation in relation to the New Zealand First Foundation would see us completing the investigation before the September election date,” the spokesperson said.
“At this stage, we are progressing the investigation under the current lockdown restrictions and are still on track to complete it within that timeframe” they said.
It is my view that there is no doubt laws have been broken (the Electoral Commission’s view also). The only real issue is who broke them, and which laws.
UPDATE: Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock. Barry Soper reports:
The offices of Winston Peters confidante and trustee of the New Zealand First Foundation Brian Henry were the subject of an early morning raid by the Serious Fraud Office in February, before the Covid-19 lockdown.
Investigators took documents relating to the Foundation, which was said by the Electoral Commission to be in breach of electoral law in that it didn’t declare donations that ended up being used for party expenses.
The SFO mean business.