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Murray McCully slams police 'spin merchants'

Murray McCully MP National MP

13 May 2004

Murray McCully slams police 'spin merchants'

National MP Murray McCully has labelled last night's media statement of the Acting Commissioner of Police Steve Long as "outrageous" and accused him of "behaving like a Beehive spin merchant rather than a professional law enforcement officer" over the manner in which he has defended police actions over the Shane Ardern prosecution.

"Mr Long suggests the National Party has engaged in 'the selective use of one sentence of an e-mail from Mr Kelly' and as a result 'impugned the integrity of both the individuals involved and the independence of the police'. That suggestion is patently ridiculous.

"There are only two sentences in Mr Kelly's e-mail to officers of the supposedly independent police prosecutions centre. They read: 'In relation to this issue there are to be no moves to withdraw this matter. If there is to be a review of the charge by the Prosecutions Service Centre, then I am to be fully consulted and involved in that process'.

"The meaning of Mr Kelly's e-mail could hardly have been clearer.

"Superintendent Kelly was issuing what can only be seen as a clear instruction to subordinate officers that the Ardern prosecution was to proceed. Whether the subordinate officers who received that e-mail reported to him, and the fact that Mr Thomas subsequently engaged in some flimsy back-side covering paperwork, does not change the character and impact of Mr Kelly's email.

"The National Party strongly supports a professional and independent police force. But police handling of the Ardern case, and now the release of the police prosecution centre files, raise serious concerns about police management of this case.

"The Acting Commissioner's glib, slippery response to yesterday's revelations simply compounds these concerns. If Mr Long is concerned about protecting the integrity of the police, then he should direct his concerns to his management of this case and his public utterances of yesterday, rather than the legitimate questions being raised by the National Party," says Mr McCully.


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