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Clark Must Condemn Cullen-Peters' Mugabe Tactics

Clark Must Condemn Cullen-Peters' Mugabe Tactics

Rodney Hide MP ,

September 19 2008

ACT Leader Rodney Hide today called on Prime Minister Helen Clark to condemn Winston Peters' attack on the integrity of the Serious Fraud Office and Attorney-General Dr Michael Cullen's failure to express confidence in SFO Director Grant Liddell.

"Our senior Ministers are now publicly bullying independent investigators who are attempting to do a difficult job in trying circumstances. It's a political tactic designed to make the SFO back off its investigations into Mr Peters - a tactic sanctioned by Helen Clark," Mr Hide said.

"Kiwis want honest government, Ministers held to account by the same laws as the rest of us, and a fearlessly independent civil service and police force. We don't want our civil service and police politically-cowed, Mugabe-style, or guilt and truth dictated by our Prime Minister.

"I laid the original complaint with the SFO and have supplied it with additional evidence. I have at all times been impressed by the professionalism and integrity of its officers. New Zealanders can be rightly proud of the men and women working at the SFO, and with our police. I know from my direct experience that I am.

"Mr Peters said this would be cleared up in five minutes. We've then had bluff and bluster. We've suffered the contortions as his story twists and turns to fit the facts. We now have direct political attacks on the investigators, supported by the Minister in charge of the SFO. It's deeply disturbing and disgusting, and I trust New Zealanders can see it for what it is.

"Helen Clark must condemn the Cullen-Peters attacks, and reassert the independence of the SFO and her confidence in its integrity and ability to do the job," Mr Hide said.


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