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Explosive revelations demand full inquiry – Māori Party

MEDIA STATEMENT

Te Ururoa Flavell
MP for Waiariki | Maori Party Whip
25 March 2012

Explosive revelations demand full inquiry – Māori Party

Māori Party MP for Waiariki, Te Ururoa Flavell, says this morning’s explosive revelations about Operation 8 demand nothing less than a Royal Commission of Inquiry.

Mr Flavell appeared this morning on TVNZ’s Q and A programme, along with former Police Minister Annette King.

“Mrs King revealed that Prime Minister Helen Clark, Deputy PM and Attorney-General Michael Cullen, and herself as Police Minister were ‘surprised’, ‘dismayed’ and ‘had no idea’ at the way the operation was to be conducted, despite a top-level briefing by the Police Commissioner the day before the raid,” said Mr Flavell.

“The briefing included the Solicitor-General, who was asked specifically if the Police evidence met the threshold for the use of the Suppression of Terrorism Act, and at the briefing, he advised the Prime Minister that it did. A month later, he had to admit that the evidence did not meet that test, and so was gathered illegally,” he said.

“This surely indicates that either the Police overplayed their evidence at the briefing, that the Solicitor-General was mistaken in his advice as to the law, or that he had a change of conscience following the raid.

“This extraordinary new information reinforces the view that the majority of New Zealanders came to during the trial of the Urewera Four – that the Police completely hyped up the evidence and over-reacted in using ‘shock and awe’ tactics against the innocent residents of Ruatoki.

“The result of the year-long surveillance, the lockdown and intimidation of a whole community, the four-year remand and the multi-million dollar trial of four defendants, is a handful of convictions on arms charges.

“If that was the aim, then why were all the other defendants not prosecuted for arms offences? Why were only four singled out, if not for the fact that four people are required to form an organised criminal gang?” asked Mr Flavell.

“All of this adds to intrigue, and the unanswered questions, surrounding the whole of Operation 8.

“This morning’s revelations from Mrs King certainly support the Māori Party view that the highest level of inquiry is required, because the people involved in the initial decision-making are at the highest levels of the criminal justice system,” said Mr Flavell.

“The Māori Party is moving with urgency to see how such an inquiry might be launched,” he said.


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