O’Sullivan on Whale Oil versus SFO

I agree and disagree with Fran O’Sullivan in We need to know who tried to fit up SFO boss.

The issue is too big to be swept under the carpet by mere politics and a focus on chasing whistleblowers instead of the real issues.

She’s right that the SFO/Feeley issue is too big to be swept under the carpet, but I think she’s wrong explaining the Rawshark hacking as “mere politics and a focus on chasing whistleblowers” – if political hacking is given tacit approval by police as well as journalists then “dirty politics” could get much dirtier.

And even on the Feeley/SFO issue she may be getting ahead of proceedings.

But while the police have been busy poking about in Hager’s affairs – hacking is, after all, a crime – they do not appear to have actively followed up on Acting Opposition Leader David Parker’s pre-election complaint over various actions disclosed in the Dirty Politics affair, including the alleged “SFO/Hanover Sting”.

This suggests to me a failure of prioritisation on the part of police chief Mike Bush and his team.

I believe he could start by requiring Odgers, Graham and Slater to say just who paid them for apparently trying to fit up Feeley.

Fran may be too close to this issue, having been included in the emails revolving around Rawshark. She wants journalists left alone but others “required to say”.

She is not happy with the Police “poking about in Hager’s affairs“, and may not be happy if the Police saw fit to poke around in her affairs and ‘require’ her to say things.

Fran also details a current inquiry into the SFO/Feeley issue.

Key’s response to the email was to announce an inquiry, which is headed by respected High Court judge Justice Lester Chisholm.

The Chisholm Inquiry’s terms of reference are to the point. It will investigate whether:

  • There is any evidence Ms Collins acted inconsistently with the conduct expected of a minister by undermining or attempting to undermine Mr Feeley’s tenure as director of the Serious Fraud Office.
  • Ms Collins provided information about Mr Feeley during his tenure as director of the Serious Fraud Office to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater or any other party not entitled to it.
  • Ms Collins inappropriately sought or received information about Mr Feeley from Slater or any other party.

It would also identify and report on any other relevant issues.

I think it makes sense for police to largely wait and see what the outcome of this inquiry is.It’s not as if there is urgency, Judith Collins is parked up on the back benches.

Justice Chisholm may or may not go far enough with his inquiry, but it should at least be a substantial starting point should a Police investigation prove justified.

3 Comments

  1. “hacking is, after all, a crime”

    Not necessarily, it depends on intent, and it’s reasonable to think that whoever hacked Slater didn’t have malicious intent.

  2. The Fallen One

     /  13th October 2014

    @UglyTruth… That is like saying that burglary, and/or breaking and entering, home invasion, etc. is all fine, as long as the intent is good.
    Let me give an example:
    A few years back, one of my very good friend’s home was broken into, and he had a large number of unique items stolen from him. One evening when he was out for a walk around his neighbourhood, he happened to see what appeared to be one of these items through the window of a house… he didn’t just wait until the house was empty and break in because he thought it was his stuff (the intent was good). He rang that Police, and let them deal with the situation. He got his stuff back, and the criminals got charged, and tried.
    Had he broken in himself, he would have also been in front of a judge on the wrong side of the court room.

    • “That is like saying that burglary, and/or breaking and entering, home invasion, etc. is all fine, as long as the intent is good.”

      Not really, as injury can result even if the intent is good. In your friend’s case he could have damaged their property while gaining access and risked a serious confrontation if someone had been home. Law always looks to the intent.