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Further comment on Operation Carlton (Tea Pot Tapes)

Further comment on Operation Carlton (Tea Pot Tapes)

8 August 2013

NZ Police have received a number of requests for a copy of the Operation Carlton ("tea pot tapes") investigation file. An appropriately redacted copy of the file was provided to Mr Ambrose's legal team in June 2012 as part of the disclosure process.

However, a number of allegations were made by Mr Winston Peters on 7 August 2013 in relation to statements made in the Police file. After receiving further requests this week and considering relevant factors under the Official Information Act, NZ Police are releasing relevant extracts from the file. These extracts are reproduced in full below.

Police confirm again that there are no references in the Police file to accessing Mr Peter's phone records, nor is there any consideration of an application to access his records.

Extracts from a Police internal memo from Detective Inspector Grantham in relation to Operation Carlton (dated 2 December 2011).

"This report relates to the investigation into the Unlawful Interception of Private Communications between the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable John KEY and the ACT member for Epsom, the Honourable John BANKS on 11th November 2011 and the subsequent disclosure of this intentionally recorded communication to The Herald on Sunday. The matter of the Honourable Winston Peters disclosing parts of the private communication also needs further investigation."

...

"Finally there is the matter of Winston PETERS quoting from the recorded conversation. There is no doubt that he has in fact quoted from it, albeit very short pieces. If the decision is made that AMBROSE has committed the offence of unlawfully recording a private communication then PETERS was be investigated for disclosing the same. (sic)

DIRECTION
Wayne EAGLESON has been briefed on this matter being forwarded to Auckland CIB for completion. He is the person to be kept informed on the investigation as he will keep the PM updated."

Police note that Mr Ambrose was not subsequently charged with an offence in this matter, as Mr Ambrose took the pre-emptive action to write a letter of apology to the affected parties. Mr Ambrose was then given an official warning by NZ Police.

Given Mr Ambrose was not charged with a criminal offence, there was no Police investigation of Mr Peters, or his role in obtaining the recordings.

ENDS

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