He asked the Serious Fraud Office to put up or shut up and go away – and they’re going to do the former.
The Serious Fraud Office has decided to launch a full investigation into Winston Peters, and will use its powers to find out whether donations from Sir Robert Jones and the Vela brothers reached his New Zealand First party as intended.
SFO Director Grant Liddell said he had enough information to suspect the investigation may reveal “serious and complex fraud” the threshold for the statutory powers which can force documents to be produced or people involved to answer questions.
Mr Liddell has been assessing a complaint from Act leader Rodney Hide for the past month.
He said he did not believe there was enough evidence to use the SFO powers on the Owen Glenn donation, because it was clear from both men’s accounts the money was donated to Mr Peters’ legal costs.
And while the allegations concerning the scampi select committee were serious, Mr Liddell said “seriousness of allegation alone is not enough”.
He said it may be that further information was uncovered on these allegations that gave him “reason to suspect” and use the powers.
Keep in mind though, as Matthew Hooton pointed out on The Panel this afternoon that legislation abolishing the SFO is pending; and that if an election was called the priviliges committee would go too.
But even Helen Clark wouldn’t rush through the legislation then call the election so that both inquiries were aborted, would she?