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Greens ask Police, Comm'n to investigate National

Greens ask Police and Electoral Commission to investigate National's donations' return

Green Media Release 27th November 2006

The Green Party has written to the Police and the Electoral Commission asking them to investigate whether charges should be laid against the National Party regarding their donations' return for 2005, in light of Nicky Hager's book The Hollow Men.

"The book presents considerable evidence that the political and organisational leadership of the National Party were aware of the identity of major party donors yet in their donations return to the Electoral Commission these names were not mentioned," says Greens' Co-Leader Russel Norman.

"This means that either National did not declare these donations at all, or they declared them as 'anonymous' when they actually knew the identities of the donors," Dr. Norman says, also the Greens' Spokesperson on Electoral Matters.

"Either way, if this is the case then National has breached the Electoral Act and are guilty of committing an illegal or corrupt practice under the Act and hence the police need to investigate. I have written to them today asking them to do so.

"Any attempt to prosecute National is complicated by the fact that it is now seven months since National were required to file their 2005 donations return, and it appears likely that prosecutions may need to be started within a six month window. But the institutions best situated to make this call are the police and the Electoral Commission.

"This is a matter worth investigating regardless and a recognition that even if National get away with it, then it is only on a technicality. For a Party which has made such hay over the alleged corrupt practices of others it is time for National to acknowledge its own transgressions.

"Our democratic system is being undermined and only the sterilising effect of sunshine can clean up the smell now emanating from the National Party. The police and the Electoral Commission need to do their best to get to the bottom of this.

ENDS

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