Sabin chaired Law & Order committee after Key knew

Andrew Little was interviewed by Duncan Garner on Radio Live about John Key’s handling of the Mike Sabin police inquiry.

Garner: What are you alleging, why is this important?

Little: This is important because the Parliamentary committee that Mike Sabin chaired provides the oversight for the police.

A very important role, and the idea that the person chairing that committee would be under a police investigation and at the same time to continue to chair potentially calling the police officials to account on it is just a level of conflict of interest that we should just never tolerate.

Now the idea is waht is pretty clear is the Government knew this and allowed him to carry on chairing that committee even though they knew he was under a police investigation.

Garner: No but do we have any proof though that the Prime Minister had been told?

Little: Well even if you take the Prime Minister at his word when he said the earliest that he knew was the first of December, we know that Mike Sabin chaired the law and Order select committee on the third of December.

So when the Government knew, when the Prime Minister knew, he allowed the guy to carry on chairing the select committee that provides oversight for the police, and this was a major conflict of interest. It would be never be tolerated in any other organisation.

That is obviously of concern. Key was questioned about this in his regular post Cabinet press conference this afternoon.

Garner: John Key has said that yes he found out that his Northland MP was being investigated on December the first and he allowed, he allowed Sabinto carry on chairing the Law and Order select committee two days later.

Key at his press conference:

Him remaining as the chair of the select committee was appropriate course of action.

I accept it’s a judgement call. Some people might criticise me for that but people make a judgement call on the information they have at the time.

Much may hinge on “the information they have at the time”, but it should also be remembered that Key was still defending Sabin in late January/early February.

It’s eyebrow raising that Key knew of the inquiry and still judged it appropriate to allow Sabin to continue chairing the committee.

That Key was still defending Sabin up until what appears to be a related court appearance that is suppressed raises much bigger questions considering what has been widely talked about as the possible nature of charges.

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