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Political interference in Peters inquiry?

02/09/2008

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Scoopit!

Stuff carries an article on the Prime Minister’s extraordinary attack, to Adam’s mind, on law enforcement agencies, the SFO, the Police and on the Crown Law Office. Such attacks which appear to be attempted political interference need to be strongly resisted. Adam would take this view whatever the political composition of the government.

Ms Clark said:

“I have no doubt whatsoever that word seeped out that the SFO was about to make a move,” she said at her post-Cabinet press conference. “Whether it seeped from there or from others in the loop remains to be seen.”

When asked who was in the loop:-

Clark said: “Crown Law and the police”.

She said she was not dealing in rumour.

“I have reason to believe that the timing of Mr Key’s announcement last Wednesday afternoon was not coincidental,” Clark said.

“I think that’s important, because there were some at the time who were inclined to look at the move last week at the time and say, `How brilliant’. Not so brilliant if you’ve had some sort of tip.

“This is a small city and I now understand that rumours were around on Tuesday night.”

These claims are outrageous. The SFO denied the allegations so now Ms Clark attacks the Crown Law and the Police, both agencies which some, perhaps unkindly, have seen as Labour poodles in recent times.

Ms Clark is following consistent behaviour by her party when an issue arises deny, denigrate. No wonder so many government agencies are perceived so poorly when the government attacks them for political purposes. Attempting to smear agencies such as these though is quite unacceptable. It marks a new low. Clearly the regime seeks to pressure the SFO to reach conclusions which it wants.

Further to Adam’s mind, these attacks on the Police and Crown Law are a means of signaling to these agencies that decisions on prosecution and legal advice on matters relating to the events under consideration had better follow the government’s wishes. Such statements by Clark and indeed anybody else should be seen by the public as totally beyond the pale and reflecting an attempt to politicise the justice system.

Clark’s claims were echoed by New Zealand First Christchurch list MP Ron Mark, who said National had compromised itself should it win this year’s general election.

Well Mark would say that wouldn’t he?

Key said last night the allegations smacked of desperation.

“In a bid to avoid answering some simple questions, she (Clark) has impugned the name of some very important organisations,” he said.

“It’s a very serious allegation when the Prime Minister implies that a law-enforcement agency is in the pockets of the Opposition.”

Key said he had no knowledge of the SFO inquiry when he announced he would not deal with Peters and had received no tip-off from any agency. He had not heard any rumours of an inquiry.

Morning Report has an item on this. Clark now reported as saying she has to accept the SFO assurance of no leak. Strange that she is so reluctant when she appeared to have no problem regarding Winston Peters.

Overall these attacks, which could be perceived as political interference ,reflect appallingly bad governance practice.

4 Comments
  1. 02/09/2008 10:19

    Adam is not being “unkind” in describing the NZ Police and Crown Law as “labour poodles”. Adam is one hundred percent, dead-set on the mark!

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  2. showmethetaxcut permalink
    02/09/2008 08:28

    Yes, Danyl’s post yesterday over at Dim Post on why she is doing this was most insightful – because it is what she would do if she were running the SFO and friendly to the opposition.

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  3. 02/09/2008 08:13

    She is judging others by her own low standards again.

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  4. showmethetaxcut permalink
    02/09/2008 07:58

    She is acting true to form.

    Only come clean when it is necessary to avert an even bigger problem.

    She has become a vile and disgusting politician.

    I do hope that if there is a change of government, we get an independent corruption commission and the new government works hard to restore the neutrality of the public service.

    showmethetaxcut

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