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Government Dodges Peters’ Legal Aid Questions

Media Release
20 November 2003

Government Dodges Peters’ Legal Aid Questions

Rt Hon Winston Peters has asked the Justice Minister to explain why he has refused to answer written questions about legal aid believed to have been granted to an 18 year old South Korean student facing serious sex assault charges in Tauranga.

Mr Peters, who raised the issue in Parliament today, said that for the past month he had been trying to find out from the Minister whether legal aid had been granted to Richard Cha, who allegedly raped and threatened to kill a young woman in the suburb of Otumoetai in mid-September.

“The Minister has an obligation to front up and explain whether this student has been granted legal aid at the expense of New Zealand taxpayers and it is not good enough for him to hide behind irrelevant procedural issues involving this case.

“Sadly, this government places the rights of foreigners above the rights of New Zealanders. It would be interesting to find out what help the victim has received from a government which appears to run a protection racket for alleged criminals, especially if they come from overseas.

“It is time the Minister came clean over this case and explained exactly what is happening and whether this is another case of taxpayers financing court cases for non-New Zealanders,” said Mr Peters.


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