Key accepts Dunne’s word on Kitteridge leak

After the Privileges Committee report on the David Henry inquiry there have been a number of questions and answers in Parliament about who leaked the Kitteridge report. The Henry inquiry failed to find evidence of who leaked the report.

Labour Leader David Cunliffe in Question Time on Wednesday:

Hon David Cunliffe: Does the Prime Minister now know for certain that the Hon Peter Dunne did not leak the *Kitteridge report?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No, I do not know the answer to that. I do not believe that was the purpose of the privileges claim.

Hon David Cunliffe: Then how could he accept him back in his Cabinet?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Because, firstly, we have not done that and, secondly, we accept the member at his word.

NZ First leader Winston Peters:

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Does the Prime Minister’s statement that he has to take Mr Dunne at his word *in respect of his denial mean that he believes Mr Dunne did not leak the *Kitteridge report?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The member has, on numerous occasions, strongly said that he did not leak the report. I accept the member at his word. There was no conclusion to that report.

Grant Robertson in a debate on PRIVILEGE Question of Privilege Regarding Use of Intrusive Powers Within the Parliamentary Precinct

The Prime Minister set up an inquiry to do that. Today he tells us he may let Peter Dunne back into Cabinet. That is only possible for him to do if he believes that someone else other than Peter Dunne leaked the Kitteridge report.

 

Henry versus Dunne revisited

I was quizzed again yesterday on Kiwiblog on the David Henry investigation of and accusations against Peter Dunne on leaking the Kitteridge report.

While nothing can be ruled out completely I have seen no evidence that comes anywhere close to proving Dunne leaked the report, Dunne’s denials and explanations have been consistent and believable, and I have seen no reason to disbelieve Dunne’s claims of innocence.

Some points from the Henry report:

25.The news article was printed early on Tuesday 9 April and occupied the front page. Writing the article, and preparing the accompanying graphics, would have taken some hours and would have had to have been completed by the evening of 8 April. As a major scoop I think that both the writing and publication would have been given priority. On that basis I think that the reporter gained access to the report on Sunday 7 April or Monday 8 April, with the Monday being the most likely.

This is a narrow assumption by Henry. He doesn’t consider the possibility that Vance would have needed time to read the report, research it, contact people to verify and comment with various people (and Dunne has admitted discussing it by email), write it up, have editors check it etc etc. Henry has implied Dunne gave Vance a copy at midday on the Monday. That leaves a very short time-frame.

Dunne returned from holiday on the Sunday. Henry initially told Dunne that he thought Sunday was the most likely day it was leaked – until he was told that Vance was away in the South Island for the weekend.

26. It is not possible to be definitive but it is likely that the report was provided directly to the reporter by the leaker.

Some people have claimed Dunne could have drip fed bits of the report to Vance via email. There wasn’t time for him to do this, and Henry thinks Vance had a full copy.

41.l requested the return of all copies. All but two have been recovered. I was advised that the two missing copies had been shredded: One copy had been returned to the Cabinet Office by a DPMC officer and shredded. The other had been held by a cabinet minister whose staff tell me had not accessed the report prior to the leak

Henry simply accepts their word that the copies were shredded and appears to have not investigated further.

59.For completeness I record that I had no access, nor did I seek any access, to private email providers or private telephones.

Any smart leaker would not have communicated via logged parliamentary communications, but Henry does not consider this or private meeting at all except for one Dunne-Vance meeting that Dunne says didn’t happen.

68.As part of that preparation the officer had the report at home over the weekend of 6 and 7 April. The report was not kept in a safe or locked cabinet at the home but the officer states that it remained in the officer’s possession at all times.

Henry takes the officer’s word for it, apparently without further investigation.

82.l remain of the view that I need to have full access to all eighty-six emails.

Henry was focused on Dunne and after the phone logs proved nothing and the security data proved nothing and after the photocopy and printer logs proved nothing he saw the emails as the proof, and we know he tried to access the email contents.

Natural justice

86. Mr Dunne has been provided with relevant extracts from drafts of this report and his comments have been taken into account.

No, Dunne’s comments – including strong denials – have been ignored. It’s very likely a travesty of justice has occurred.

Without Mr Dunne’s permission I cannot take the matter any further.

No, he cannot take the matter further with Dunne, for whom he has no evidence and adamant denials. He could have investigated other possibilities but chose not to. He was under tight time pressure which may have contributed to him doing a very narrow investigation.

This doesn’t rule out Dunne, but after extensive investigation of him no evidence was found.

It also doesn’t rule out many other possibilities that were barely considered or ignored.

All the accusations against Dunne have been lacking in facts and absent any evidence (as mikenmild demonstrates in his comment) and seem to be mostly based on loose assumptions or through spite of Dunne and attempts to smear him.

There is body. There is no smoking gun. There isn’t even a gun. There is no evidence a gun was involved. Poison and knives appear to have no even been considered.

The investigation and deliberate accusation were nowhere near the standard of a police inquiry or standard of evidence in a legal case.

The investigation seems more along the lines of an IRD investigator who makes very narrow targeted investigations and who has the power to rake through any information they like when the target an individual. Except in this case an ex IRD officer didn’t have that power, but tried to use it anyway.

This remains at little more than:

Henry: I think you did it.

Dunne: I didn’t do it.

Keeping in mind that Henry’s inquiry was very narrow (targeted mostly based in assumptions of guilt targeting Dunne) and found no evidence, and Dunne’s denials and explanations have been consistent and backed by facts.

Winston Peters chutzpah over phone records

Winston Peters is on a new rampage, claiming that the police tried to access his phone records when investigating the so-called teacup tape case.

First I’ll say that I think the police investigation into the teacup tapes was unnecessary and over the top – like the Henry inquiry.

But there is oodles of irony and hypocrisy here. Both the teacup tape case and the Kitteridge report leak were little more than inconveineces and embarrassments for the Prime Minister.

Winston Peters’ phone records in teacup tape probe

Rt Hon Winston Peters says he is outraged to learn that police wanted to use his personal telephone records to prosecute a cameraman whose tape recorder captured the teacup conversation between John Key and John Banks in the 2011 election campaign.

Mr Peters has told Parliament that he learned in the past 24 hours that police files contain references to seizing his telephone records during the police investigation of John Key’s complaint about the tape recording.

Recently Peters laid a complaint with the police wanting them to investigate phone and email records of Peter Dunne.

“At the time of this sordid meeting to jack up the election result, Winston Peters, private citizen, was nowhere in the vicinity and it is absurd that he should have been sucked into a politically motivated police investigation.

Peters invited himself into the inquiry by hinting or claiming he’d heard the tape and possibly had a copy of the tape. He did this very publicly, capitalising on the publicity to promote his election campaign.

“If this had been a matter of national security I would have given investigators any records they wanted but this was not national security, this was National Party.

Not disimilar to the Kitteridge leak, it was annoyance to the Government but didn’t threaten national security.

“We understand the Prime Minister’s office was being kept in the loop during the investigation so it stands to reason that the boss would also have been in the loop.

“That is perhaps the reason he backed off demanding a prosecution.

“He would have to admit that his politically motivated use of police led to a private citizen’s phone records being accessed illegally.”

Peters is still trying to use the police for politically motivated reasons.

Mr Peters has sought an assurance that Mr Key and the Police explain exactly what happened over his phone records.

Like Peters will explain exactly how he came to have knowledge of phone records and emails in the Henry inquiry? Yeah, right.

“This was an offence against a private citizen who was nowhere near the café.

“This was not a matter of national security – or even a matter of life and death.

Neither was the Kitteridge report leak that Peters kept demanding action on.

“Did Mr Key actually sign a warrant or was he prepared to?” asked Mr Peters.

I don’t think Key ever gets involved in signing police warrants.

Again, the polie inquiry seems to have been way over the top and intrusive, that’s a serious issue.

But Peters’ indignation is brazen cheek when you consider that:

  • He invited attention in the teacup case by claiming or implying he had heard the tape and may have a copy.
  • He was strenuously promoting similar action against Peter Dunne to what he is complaining about.

If what he claims is correct it’s a seriously concerning matter, but does Peters deserve to be taken seriously?

Peters is the king of chutzpah with a huge huff of hypocrisy.

Colin James on Key’s Henry problems

In his latest ODT column (not yet online) Colin James comments on John Key trying to sidestep the glare of the mismanagement of the Henry inquiry.

You know the cabinet thinks it has a public relations problem when it puts the bovver boy in the ring. Steven Joyce has that rare gift of seeming to smile while heavying an interviewer (or toughing it out in Parliament), topdressing flannel with “facts” the way a marketer does.

When Key gets in a jam, as over the mismanaged Henry inquiry, his body language shifts. He tries to sidestep — thus we have boat people coming, weapons of mass destruction and now Al Qaeda. He gives assurances that get falsified. Grant Robertson can then say he is slipping and sliding.

Usually, Key larks around in question time in Parliament, nyah-nyahing opponents: Greens are “fruit-loops” and “the devil-beast”. He is the shock-jock Prime Minister and out in the sticks that goes down a treat — though a National supporter a recent industry conference muttered to me about swear-words in his otherwise well-received off-the-cuff speech.

But when the serial whiplashes of Kim Dotcom, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and the Henry inquiry kept catching him even when he skipped to the side, a harried grump banished his breezy humour.

Most people retreat when embarrassed. Key instead lashed out when his stagey tea with John Banks in the  2011 election campaign was recorded. The media were, he said, on a slippery slope to News of the World-type criminality. In April the media were “knuckleheads” over how GCSB boss Ian Fletcher got appointed.

Likewise, when the Dominion Post ran a leak of Rebecca Kitteridge’s report on the GCSB — a report due for full publication a few days later, so national security was not at issue — Key did not settle for some behind-scenes questions. He lashed out with a formal inquiry which, with help from his chief of staff (who speaks and acts with prime ministerial authority), went awry.

Result: two bodies on the floor, maybe more to come; the news media bristling about “privacy” (a bit preciously in the 2010s digital world of ubiquitous information, now widely used and misused by firms and states); constitutionalists agitating over ministerial intrusion on Parliament’s “sovereign” territory (though Parliament has the sovereign power to disclose information); yet another inquiry, by Parliament’s privileges committee, which has subpoena and punishment powers; and more questions for Key.

A question still hanging (at the time of writing): by which conduit did Winston Peters get wind of the Peter Dunne focus back in May?

Key proved the old adage: don’t order an inquiry without a good idea of the sort of answer it will give.

When the Kitteridge report was leaked Key was in China. Greens and Labour demanded an inquiry into the leak and Key obliged. He will probably be quietly regretting giving in to that pressure without having any idea what answers would emerge.

We still don’t know who leaked the Kitteridge report. But we know more about how Key deals with uncomfortable exposure of his own inquiry and his own office and their involvement in the shambles.

You know the cabinet thinks it has a public relations problem when it puts the bovver boy in the ring. Steven Joyce has that rare gift of seeming to smile while heavying an interviewer (or toughing it out in Parliament), topdressing flannel with “facts” the way a marketer does.

When Key gets in a jam, as over the mismanaged Henry inquiry, his body language shifts. He tries to sidestep — thus we have boat people coming, weapons of mass destruction and now Al Qaeda. He gives assurances that get falsified. Grant Robertson can then say he is slipping and sliding.

Usually, Key larks around in question time in Parliament, nyah-nyahing opponents: Greens are “fruit-loops” and “the devil-beast”. He is the shock-jock Prime Minister and out in the sticks that goes down a treat — though a National supporter a recent industry conference muttered to me about swear-words in his otherwise well-received off-the-cuff speech.

But when the serial whiplashes of Kim Dotcom, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and the Henry inquiry kept catching him even when he skipped to the side, a harried grump banished his breezy humour.

Most people retreat when embarrassed. Key instead lashed out when his stagey tea with John Banks in the  2011 election campaign was recorded. The media were, he said, on a slippery slope to News of the World-type criminality. In April the media were “knuckleheads” over how GCSB boss Ian Fletcher got appointed.

Likewise, when the Dominion Post ran a leak of Rebecca Kitteridge’s report on the GCSB — a report due for full publication a few days later, so national security was not at issue — Key did not settle for some behind-scenes questions. He lashed out with a formal inquiry which, with help from his chief of staff (who speaks and acts with prime ministerial authority), went awry.

Result: two bodies on the floor, maybe more to come; the news media bristling about “privacy” (a bit preciously in the 2010s digital world of ubiquitous information, now widely used and misused by firms and states); constitutionalists agitating over ministerial intrusion on Parliament’s “sovereign” territory (though Parliament has the sovereign power to disclose information); yet another inquiry, by Parliament’s privileges committee, which has subpoena and punishment powers; and more questions for Key.

A question still hanging (at the time of writing): by which conduit did Winston Peters get wind of the Peter Dunne focus back in May?

Key proved the old adage: don’t order an inquiry without a good idea of the sort of answer it will give.

Does Peter Dunne’s story stack up now?

Yesterday the Government released an email trail that covers the accessing of MP and journalist data in the David Henry inquiry, and also covers the authorisation for accessing data.

I have followed the Henry inquiry and related issues closely.

For about a week after he resigned as Minister Peter Dunne told me nothing about it. Early on I seriously considered the possibility the Dunne had leaked the Kitteridge report. There was no evidence that he had leaked, despite Henry’s clear implication that he had. But there were some things that didn’t seem to make sense and that raised doubts.

In the days immediately following the resignation the weight of journalist opinion was overwhelming. Despite being shocked that Dunne would have leaked (he had a reputation of being a “goody two shoes”) the consensus seemed to be that he almost certainly had. I wondered if they were right.

But the journalist claims of guilt quite quickly quietened. Usually when the media senses lies and false claims in a potential scandal they relentlessly pursue their prey until they get some sort of result. But I noticed that the journalists seemed to back off instead.

And they all seem to have remained backed off – in fact there seems to be substantial sympathy for Dunne.

About a week after the resignation Dunne started to reveal to me what he knew and what he thought. I believe he has now told me most of what there is to know about it from his perspective.

Most of this has been by email. Twice he has gone over this with me present in person, once with his wife also present and supporting what he said.

Dunne has seemed to be open about what he knew and what he didn’t know.

For weeks I have known that it seemed likely the Henry inquiry had accessed Dunne’s security card data, deskphone logs, cellphone logs and email logs. Only the deskphone log access had seemed to be authorised. The only thing unknown was whether contents of emails had been accessed.

Last night I read through the email trail that had been released.

Everything I have seen in that document supports Dunne’s version of the story. It confirmed a number of things that Dunne had suspected, including access to cellphone data.

The only revelation was that email contents had been supplied. There were obvious suspicions that that may have happened but until yesterday there was nothing to prove it.

What Dunne has told me over the past month has been consistent, persistent and forthright. And it all stacks up with the emerging facts. It is quite likely that different interpretations of events will emerge, particularly between Henry and Dunne, but at this stage I have faith that what Dunne has said is genuine belief and accurate.

And the stories of others in this simply don’t stack up. There have been too many versions, false claims, doubt and lack of credibility. And accusations based on narrow assumptions remain baseless.

Dunne’s story stacks up. Everything else seems to be falling to pieces.

Thorn’s resignation – more revelations to come?

The Kitteridge leak has it’s second casualty. Peter Dunne resigned as Minister when the Henry report painted him as the leaker.

And now, after it became apparent there were alarming releases of MP and journalist data that contributed to a witch-hunt, the head of the Parliament Service, Geoff Thorn, has resigned.

I think political and public servant resignations are demanded far too much. But people get into untenable situations and it happens. Much to the glee of some, who love seeing political blood being spilled.

To me there is always a tinge of sadness when they occur. It means a major change to someone’s career, and can also have a significant affect on family.

Thorn had overall responsibility for a number of things of concern. NZ Herald reports:

A Datacom contractor gave the records to David Henry’s inquiry into the leak of Rebecca Kitteridge’s GCSB compliance report.

The service also provided incorrect answers to written questions from Mr Carter over whether the records were sought.

Mr Carter said he had accepted Mr Thorn’s resignation after confidence in Parliamentary Service had been dented.

Confidence has certainly been severely dented. But is this all?

The Privileges Committee is having an inquiry into the release of journalist data and associated issues. In three weeks time all those relevant to the inquiry will have to front up to a public questioning. Even though Thorn finishes today the committee can still require him to take part. They must see Thorn as an important part of their inquiry.

Thorn’s three month severance deal seems like a quick, quiet and uncontested exit package. Is there anything else that prompted the resignation, something that is likely to be revealed by the inquiry?

Another aspect of this whole issue that is seen as serious by media is the involvement of Winston Peters in accusations and smearing, using leaked data as ammunition in his attempted hit job. See Winston Peters: “It’s my job to know”.

But it was Thorn’s responsibility for Peters – or any other MP or anyone else – not to know what was happening in a sensitive inquiry, and not to know any details of communications of rival MPs. This has very serious implications.

The leaks Peters occurred on Thorn’s watch.

And if we take any of Peters’ claims seriously there must have been multiple leaks to him. Peters initially claimed all the evidence was in the phone records – and this was before anything was publicly known about the nature of the Henry inquiry.

When the phone records didn’t figure in Henry’s Report Peters switched to implying and claiming he had seen and possibly had emails. If he has seen emails it is an extremely serious matter, an appalling breach of security and privacy.

Peters also claimed there were multiple communications. This would mean multiple leaks of information.

Of course Peters may simply be a lying opportunist who was fed a smidgen of information which he used to try and destroy the career of an elected MP.  That is serious on it’s own.

But if Peters had access to any data of Andrea Vance or Peter Dunne it would an even more alarming breech of security.

On Thorn’s watch. This may have added weight to the decision for Thorn to resign quickly and quietly.

Peters seems to not want Thorn to appear before the committee. Why? Stuff reports:

NZ First leader Winston Peters said Thorn was a scapegoat and questioned if his resignation meant he would not give evidence to an inquiry launched by Parliament’s Privileges Committee into how Vance’s records came to be handed over.

But that might be wishful thinking.

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, who heads the Privileges Committee, yesterday suggested Thorn’s departure would not stop them calling him to give evidence.

His evidence is crucial to finding out the extent to which discussions with Eagleson influenced the decision to hand over Vance’s phone and swipe-card records.

And it might shed some light on the dark arts of Winston Peters.

Interestingly Peters is on the Privileges Committee. I don’t know how that will affect any inquiry into his involvement in the access of data and information about the data.

The Privileges Committee should be examining this aspect of the Henry data debacle. It seems highly likely there will be more revelations to come.

Geoff Thorn may be simply unfortunate to have been the muggins in the middle of a complex game of political manoeuvring and muggings.

Winstons Peters on police complaint – “severely embarrassed”

Winston Peters was embarrassed by a police decision not to proceed with his attempt to have Peter Dunne prosecuted for leaking the Kitteridge report – which Dunne keeps denying. And no evidence has been produced, despite Peters previously claiming he had evidence before having to admit it was ‘insufficient”.

It was thought that the criminal complaint was an attempt by Peters to get the police to fish for evidence to give some credibility to his attempt to destroy Dunne’s political career.

Despite yesterday’s police rebuttal Peters is not ready to give up, and claims – again – that he has information that will help the inquiry. He will be severely embarrassed if this is yet another of his fizzers.

Police advised that “no offence is disclosed” in complaint by NZ First against Dunne regarding the leaking of the Kitteridge report and “further investigation will fail to provide evidence”.

After considering the information presented by the complainant police are satisfied that no offence is disclosed and that further investigation will fail to provide evidence leading to a prosecution under either piece of legislation.

Police consider this matter ended unless additional information becomes available which might warrant further assessment.

This is after Peters failed to provide evidence over the two week period he made accusations against Dunne, and he failed to provide sufficient evidence to the police when or since he laid the complaint six weeks ago.

Now Peters is complaining that the police made “a hasty decision not to launch an investigation” and he has more information. 3 News report Peters hasn’t given up on police inquiry:

Winston Peters is sending more information to the police about the leaked GCSB report and says they made a hasty decision not to launch an investigation.

Mr Peters says that after he laid his complaint, the police asked him for any additional information he held about the leak.

He says he told them verbally on July 10 that their request was being considered, and emailed them on July 15 saying more information would be sent.

When asked by the police last week surely Peters knew whether he had “more information” or not. This looks like classic Peters spinning out bullshit, as he has done since first making accusations.

Oner News also reported Dunne GCSB complaint:  No action to be taken and have a video – Peters calls for rethink on GCSB report leak decision where Peters says…

If they don’t consider the rest of the information I think they will be severely embarrassed.

It looks like Peters is trying to avert being severely embarrassed himself for making what is seen as a frivolous politically motivated complaint. The police will have to consider “the rest of the information” but it will have to be far more substantial than what Peters has come up with so far – which appears to be virtually nothing.

His past record of coming up with evidence is farcical. From Winston Peters evades questions on evidence

CORIN Have you got evidence to back that up?

WINSTON Yes.

CORIN What is it?

WINSTON Well, again, I never have pursued that path.

And in a Radio NZ interview the day he made the complaint to police:

Watson: Well, have you got content that you’ll be showing to the police?

Peters: I don’t get up and make allegations that I haven’t properly investigated.

Watson: Have you given information to the police?

Peters: No, I haven’t had a chance to talk to them, I only lodged the complaint today.

Watson: But you will be giving information to the police?

Peters: No, I have made myself available to talk to them if they want me to talk to them then that’s fine by me.

Watson: But if they asked for information, if they asked for email content between Peter Dunne and this reporter, you have it and you could give it to them?

Peters: Well most certainly yes.

Watson: How much have you got? Of the 86 emails how much have you got?

Peters: Well enough to know that a serious issue had people who were not treating it properly, had mistreated the information they got, and that was affecting my country’s national interest. I as a former foreign minister I know how seriously our overseas…

Watson: But is your information, have you got information that proves absolutely that Peter Dunne leaked the report to that reporter…

Peters: Well let me tell you this, I made the allegation knowing that there was a day of inevitable consequence, that day has arrived. That’s all you need to know.

That was on Friday 7 June and now, six weeks later, no credible evidence has yet been produced.

And even if he has evidence there may be no crime. No Right Turn blogs:

The police have refused to waste their time investigating Winston Peters’ allegations of “espionage” against Peter Dunne.

But they have already had their time wasted. NRT says the dismissal of the complaint is not surprising, and explains why:

Section 78(a) (espionage) requires “intent to prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand” – something difficult to argue in a case of leaking, and impossible when the Prime Minister says that the information was not harmful.

The Summary Offences Act charge is even more laughable, since it requires knowledge that an unauthorised release of official information would be likely to prejudice a long list of interests (essentially s6 OIA, minus “national security”), none of which can possibly apply.

We’ll have to wait and see if Peters finally comes up with anything of substance  – he had previously claimed he had evidence but never produced any, see Winston Peters – did he lie? Live or die? – but that won’t change the fact that it appears that no law has been broken.

Peters was embarrassed by yesterday’s police rejection of his complaint.

He will be severely embarrassed if, again, he fails to back up his bluster with anything credible.

NZ First “forwarding more information to the Police”

Tuesday, 16 July 2013, 2:08 pm
Press Release: New Zealand First Party

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader

16 July 2013

Police Decision Questioned By NZ First

Rt Hon Winston Peters says the Police decision on a complaint laid over the leak of sensitive material from the Government Communications Security Bureau was made before all the evidence was reviewed.

Police have told New Zealand First that they conclude “that no offence is disclosed, as we are unable to prove one of the key ingredients of any offence associated with the leak”. And further, that they “could not establish that the leak was likely to prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand pursuant to section 78A of the Crimes Act 1961, or to prove any of the ingredients in section 20A (1a-1f) of the Summary Offences Act 1981”.

“The Police had invited us to provide any additional information which was why we wrote to them on 15 July that the information was coming.

“Given that we verbally advised the Police on the 10th that we would consider their request, it is somewhat surprising that within two days, they had already made a decision which was received by my office on 16 July, in a letter dated 12 July.

“The Police concluded “in the absence of further information that enables Police to reach a different conclusion, your complaint file will be closed”.

“Exactly, which begs the question, why have the Police made a decision before further information was received?

Mr Peters says the timeline shows the following:

• 11 June New Zealand First complaint laid to Police.

• 10 July Police met New Zealand First at Parliament and told more information requests were being considered and that Police verbal advice on their interpretation of the law was being questioned by New Zealand First.

• 15 July Police formally advised by email that more information was forthcoming.

• 16 July New Zealand First received Police letter dated 12 July.

“New Zealand First will be forwarding more information to the Police, as advised, forthwith”, says Mr Peters.

Police won’t investigate Kitteridge leak for Peters

The Police say they won’t investigate the Kitteridge leak. They say “no offence is disclosed”.

After considering the information presented by the complainant police are satisfied that no offence is disclosed and that further investigation will fail to provide evidence leading to a prosecution under either piece of legislation.

This isn’t a surprise.

Winston Peters made a complaint to the police as part of his campaign against Peter Dunne but later admitted he had “insufficient evidence”. He has produced no evidence at all. It was evident he wanted the police to do his digging for him.

Assessment completed of New Zealand First complaint

Tuesday, 16 July 2013, 10:54 am
Press Release: New Zealand Police

Title: Assessment completed of New Zealand First complaint

Statement from Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess:

Police has completed its assessment of a complaint laid by New Zealand First regarding the release of information about the “Review of Compliance at the GCSB” report to a Fairfax journalist.

The complaint was assessed in terms of section 78(a) of the Crimes Act 1961 and section 20(a) of the Summary Offences Act 1981.

After considering the information presented by the complainant police are satisfied that no offence is disclosed and that further investigation will fail to provide evidence leading to a prosecution under either piece of legislation.

Police consider this matter ended unless additional information becomes available which might warrant further assessment.

New Zealand First has been informed of the Police decision.

So that line of attack is closed – the only thing that’s apparent is Peters was lying about having evidence. If he can’t produce any evidence I think it can reasonably be assumed he never had any.

Update: Newstalk ZB report No offence in GCSB leak, say police

MP Peter Dunne, who has been accused of being the leaker by Winston Peters, says the police response is not surprising.

“It always struck me when I looked at it that, given the report was not classified, the issues that were raised by him simply had no merit, and the police have found that.”

Mr Dunne says he was not spoken to by police while they assessed the complaint.

Speaker’s finding on Dunne privilege complaint

The Speaker’s ruling on the privileges complaint made by Clayton Cosgrove against Peter Dunne.

Privileges complaint 1-3 Privileges complaint 2-3 Privileges complaint 3-3

(The released document seems to have scanned pages that are not straight, hence the poor alignment)

Press release from Peter Dunne:

Dunne Hails Dismissal of Breach of Privilege Claim

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne has welcomed today’s ruling by the Speaker that he did not deliberately mislead the Finance and Expenditure Committee when he denied being responsible for leaking the Kitteridge Report on the GCSB.

The Speaker has dismissed a breach of privilege complaint that had been laid by Labour following the Henry Report into the leaking of the Kitteridge Report, which led to Mr Dunne’s resignation as a Minister.

“I welcome the Speaker’s decision to dismiss the complaint and his ruling that my answers did not deliberately mislead the Finance and Expenditure Committee, nor were in contempt of Parliament.

“Although the Henry Report made no allegation against me, nor challenged any of my evidence, its excessive focus on circumstantial matters led to unfounded inferences and innuendos that have not only damaged my reputation, but also made it impossible for me to continue as a Minister.

“Today’s ruling that I did not deliberately mislead the Finance and Expenditure Committee effectively clears me, which I welcome, and it means I can now move forward with confidence once more and put this unfortunate whole situation behind me.

“The last few weeks have been extremely difficult for everyone affected by this case, and on behalf of my family I express my appreciation for the huge public support we have received,” Mr Dunne says.

Press release from Winston Peters

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
11 July 2013

No Exoneration for Dunne in Speaker’s Ruling

The Speaker’s delay of 31 days to work out what the breach of privilege issues were in relation to questions asked by members during a hearing of evidence at the Finance and Expenditure Committee has got to be a new record says New Zealand First.

A breach of privilege complaint was laid with the Speaker on 10 June regarding questions from New Zealand First leader Rt Hon Winston Peters to the then-Minister for Revenue Peter Dunne.

“The complaint has been ruled out on the basis that my questions were out of order.

“They were not.

“First, I asked a number of questions of Hon Peter Dunne about secrecy issues in the IRD.

Then I asked him whether he was the leaker of the Kitteridge report.

“The chairman of the Committee found the questions in order. The Speaker, in contrast, appears to want to expunge the Committee record from history.

“Mr Dunne has resigned and there is no vindication for his behaviour in the Speaker’s ruling”, says Mr Peters.

Update: a legal opinion (Graeme Edgeler) “It was dismissed because the statement was made in circumstances where it didn’t matter whether it was dishonest or not. The other things included some of the reasons why it didn’t matter, I think.”

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