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Media Playing Politics Over Nick Smith Case

Media Release

25 March 2004

Media Playing Politics Over Nick Smith Case

Rt Hon Winston Peters said today he regretted the way the media choose to handle his comments about the Nick Smith case.

“When I was approached by the media for comment, I responded that I felt some sympathy for Mr Smith, but that the law was the law,” said Mr Peters.

“Imagine my surprise when the first half of my comment was edited out by the media and only half the story was told. This is nothing but simple media manipulation aimed at contriving a political rift where none exists. It is disgusting gutter journalism.

“I can only reiterate my first statement – as a constituency MP I feel some sympathy for Mr Smith. But as I know only too well – the law is the law.

“I discussed this issue with senior National party MP’s some time ago, we agreed that this was a strict liability case and that it would inevitably lead to a conviction. It is not a law with which I agree, but it is the law.

“Mr Smith should have taken counsel regarding his comments and restricted them to Parliament where he has protection.

“New Zealand First would not support any proposal that parliament censure him, thereby compounding the state of affairs,” said Mr Peters.

ENDS

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