Five Questions Helen Clark Must Answer
9 July 2002
"Helen Clark must answer key questions police put to her over the 'Paintergate' cover-up," says National Party Leader Bill English.
He says while police put 33 questions to the Prime Minister about her involvement in and knowledge of the case, she failed to answer most of their requests by claiming that she couldn't remember.
"More importantly, Helen Clark did not answer the specific questions about her role in the events leading to the destruction of the painting.
"This is despite the fact that after consulting the Prime Minister her long-time friend and executive secretary burnt the painting - a key piece of evidence - on the same day as police were trying to obtain it."
Mr English says it's alarming to learn that the Prime Minister of New Zealand has not fully co-operated with a police investigation by refusing to answer all of their questions.
"This is no longer just a case about the Prime Minister signing paintings she did not create, but about Helen Clark's honesty and integrity. She now must answer the five key questions about what happened to the painting.
"Unfortunately, Helen Clark appears to have employed the same type of evasive methods over the 'Paintergate' cover-up that she adopted during the John Yelash defamation case," Mr English says.