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MP shocked by threat from Solicitor-General

MP shocked by threat from Solicitor-General

Nelson MP Nick Smith says he is shocked and surprised at a letter from the Solicitor-General which raises the possibility of prosecution for contempt of court.

The matter is in regard to public statements of concern about a Nelson family's long struggle to get custody of their child.

"This came like a bolt out of the blue and is very worrying. I have consistently acted in good faith to try and help a desperate family who, I believe, have suffered an injustice," he said.

"I have been very careful not to reveal the names of the persons involved or to criticise any particular judge. My objective has been, and remains, to get an independent inquiry so that the processes of the Family Court and the law might be improved."

The only other similar case in New Zealand political history was in 1986 when MP John Banks faced a similar action from the Solicitor- General in relation to the release of repeat sex offenders.

"I take comfort from his successful defence but worry at the huge personal cost such a defence entails," he said.

"I am taking the Solicitor-General's letter very seriously and will be responding fully to it after taking legal advice," Dr Smith said.

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