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Defence Inquiry Won't Expose Truth

The Government's decision to have the State Services Commissioner conduct an inquiry under the State Sector Act and the Judge Advocate General conduct a further inquiry is a whitewash, National's Defence spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"The Minister of Defence is dreaming if thinks the public will be fooled into thinking these are independent and transparent inquiries.

"The only way to get to the bottom of the problems within defence is a formal inquiry by an independent judge where witnesses can give evidence under oath.

"Instead Mark Burton is trying to cover up the serious issues in defence by keeping control of the inquiry, appointing the Government's Chief State Services advisor and an officer of the defence force who has no independent powers to subpoena evidence or individuals under oath.

"Mr Burton and the Government better get used to the fact that this bruise will not stop the truth coming out and his habit of not answering questions and dragging the chain over embarrassing issues will only increase the suspicion that the Clark Government is hiding something.

"Defence commentators have called for an independent inquiry so that the truth can be exposed. The public deserves to know what has gone on behind closed doors in the army and other defence forces - they deserve better than this token inquiry," Mr Bradford said.

Ends




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