Tuesday, 23 September 2008

I am delighted the PM recognises integrity in SFO boss

Perhaps Liddell could give the PM some lessons in intergrity.

This from the Herald.

Prime Minister Helen Clark has expressed confidence in Serious Fraud Office director Grant Liddell's integrity - but not in his judgment.


Her comments yesterday tempered Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney-General Michael Cullen's refusal to express confidence in Mr Liddell last week, but shows they are still annoyed he passed information from the SFO investigation into the Winston Peters donations controversy to the privileges committee.
"I have confidence in Mr Liddell's integrity, as does his minister, Dr Cullen," Helen Clark said.
"The issue on which both Dr Cullen and I have refrained from comment is the issue of judgment around the approach to the privileges committee."
The SFO is conducting an investigation into donations from the Spencer Trust to NZ First but submitted evidence it believed was relevant to the privileges committee, which is looking at the Owen Glenn donations.
The Prime Minister said the issue was that Mr Liddell had not sought Crown Law's advice "which would be the normal course".
NZ First laid a complaint with the police yesterday, which alleges the SFO broke the law by handing over the information.
NZ First is referring to a section of the Serious Fraud Office Act, which says every member of the SFO "shall observe the strictest secrecy". A fine of up to $5000 is applicable for any breaches.
However, the act also allows the director the discretion to disclose information "to any person who he is satisfied has a proper interest in receiving such information".
Lawyers spoken to by the Herald yesterday said there was no requirement for Mr Liddell to consult Crown Law.
Mr Liddell consulted the Auditor-General, the Clerk of Parliament and a Queen's Counsel before submitting the evidence.
He would not comment after a meeting with Dr Cullen yesterday, only saying that he had "a very productive meeting".

1 comment:

David Baigent said...

"The Prime Minister said the issue was that Mr Liddell had not sought Crown Law's advice "which would be the normal course"."

Not much point in going to Crown Law for advise about this matter, Cullen is the boss there and has a conflict, and Val Simm was ""promoted"" there for skill in creative opinion drafting. (IMO she has history).