Friday, May 05, 2006

stuff and nonsense

I knew this would happen.

You really have to wonder about the Police Farce after the latest prima facie non-prosecution case. This time it is concerning the second most powerful woman in this country, Heather Simpson. Simpson made the decisions regarding Labour's overspending before the election. For the uninitiated, Simpson is the PM's chief of staff.

The police has decide not to prosecute Simpson for breaking the law, because she didn't intend to.I blogged about it here some time back and I`ll say it again: lack of intent is no excuse, the law is still breached. From the Electoral Act, S214B (3),
Every person who directly or indirectly pays or knowingly aids or abets any person in paying for or on account of any election expenses any sum in excess of the maximum amount prescribed by this section is,—

(a) If the act is done with knowledge that the payment is in excess of the maximum amount prescribed by this section, guilty of a corrupt practice; and

(b) In any other case, guilty of an illegal practice unless the person proves that he or she took all reasonable steps to ensure that the election expenses did not exceed the maximum amount prescribed by this section.

Police did not get this "wrong" as David Farrar says. I believe Police intentionally chose to ignore the law and decide against pushing for a conviction because it was Heather Simpson. This is is nothing short of disgusting, and the Police Minister should be questioned in Parliament over it.

The following is a summary of National MP Murray McCully's take on things. Its on the Scoop site.

The Chief Electoral Officer, David Henry told the Labour Party that they would be breaking the law if they overspent the cap. He had obtained Crown Law Office advice before referring the complaints to the Police and Crown

Police knew that if they pressed charges Simpson would have been convicted. The Police then describe the law as unclear, but failed to get a legal opinion, unlike the Chief Electoral Office. Imstead the Deputy Commissioner publicly said he had made some recommendations regarding parliamentary service rules with regards to using the leaders fund for election advertising to David Henry at the Chief Electoral Office.

Problem is, he hadn`t. Henry called a meeting with the Police. That meeting happened the following day. Henry told the police the law was clear, and Crown Law had confirmed this.

The Deputy Commissioner then said that police agreed that the law was clear. ( huh!) He said that recommendations referred to in his comments to the media was a recommendation that the rules relating to the use of the party leaders fund be clarified.

But that was irrelevant to the question: Did Simpson break the law?

The Police make no further comment.

The MSM has not even reported on it.Why not?

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