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Govt must release Pike legal documents

Govt must release Pike legal documents

The Government must immediately release all correspondence between Crown lawyers, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment staff, and Peter Whittal's counsel after one of Mr Whittal's lawyers revealed discussions over Pike River charges were started by the Government, Labour's Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says.

Stacey Shortall of law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts said today that any suggestion it was Mr Whittal's defence team that initiated discussions about the prosecution being resolved without trial is incorrect.

“The firm supports the release of correspondence between the parties.

"Stacey Shortall has taken a courageous position for a lawyer in supporting the release of the letters. In light of her revelations the Government should now release the documents as a matter of urgency.

"This was one of New Zealand's worst workplace tragedies and even after a Royal Commission found serious fault with the operation of the mine, no one in control of the company has been personally called to account.

"The one attempt to bring a senior manager to book was stopped in its tracks in mysterious circumstances, and it's time to shine a light on what happened.

"All correspondence, including memoranda filed with the court, should be released to ease the public anxiety that a tawdry deal was done,” says Andrew Little.

Ends

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