No investigations in election year | The Jackal

23 May 2017

No investigations in election year

Oh dear! Not another case of potential serious fraud that the National government is refusing to investigate?

Yesterday, Stuff reported:

New Zealand Navy link to 'Fat Leonard' scandal

The Royal New Zealand Navy contracted services from a now-defunct overseas company whose director sparked one of the biggest corruption scandals in United States' navy history.

However the RNZN has reportedly said it won't be investigating its relationship with former Malaysian defence contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, who is awaiting sentencing after admitting bribery charges laid by US prosecutors.

Labour has said there was enough of a question mark for navy officials to launch a review of its relationship with Francis' company, but Prime Minister Bill English said "it's a matter for the navy".

You can understand why the Navy wouldn’t want to investigate. They have a vested interest in protecting their own after all. But Bill English saying there doesn’t need to be an investigation because he doesn't think anything is wrong is just a big fucking cop-out to try and save face in election year.

Labour's defence spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway said the RNZN should have a review of its relationship with GDMA to satisfy itself and New Zealand tax payers that everything was above board.

"I do think there should at least be a quick review of exactly how these decisions to work with this company were made," he said.

"The bribery that occurred between the company and the US Navy were for services which are very similar to the services the New Zealand navy were contracting for.

"I think there's enough of a question mark there. We're talking about taxpayers' money here."

While there was nothing to suggest anything untoward had happened, given the evidence seen in the US prosecution, it "certainly warrants a quick check" by the defence force, he said.

Damn right it does. So why haven’t we heard from the Taxpayer’s Union eh? We’re talking about over $700,000 of taxpayers’ money after all. As usual David Farrar over at Kiwibog is completely silent on anything that makes National look bad.

At a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Bill English said he'd be "very surprised" if a public servant was involved in anything of the nature reported in the US.

Yeah! Because public servants in New Zealand never undertake serious fraud eh Bill? Just ask the whistleblower's the despicable Joanne Harrison got fired. What a prized plonker the PM is.

"It's a matter for the navy," he said.

"As I think we've said before, just because there's allegations, that doesn't automatically mean that something might have happened.

"Personally, from my understanding of how our procurement system works, I'd be very surprised if any public servant was involved in anything of that nature, but it's a matter for the navy to sort out."

How can the Navy claim there is no New Zealander’s involved in the fraud without even a cursory glance into the matter? They simply cannot and that makes their decision look like another cover-up!

The Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Contract Audit Agency investigated over 200 people in the United States, including 30 officers.

With such in depth scrutiny and accountability in America you would expect the New Zealand counterparts to at least check through the Navy accounts with Fat Leonard’s company which amount to $710,235. After all, that’s not chump change people.

Without a proper in-depth investigation the public cannot have confidence that our Navy personnel weren’t involved in the huge international fraud. We cannot have confidence in our government to hold people accountable either.

By refusing to have any type of investigation, it appears National has instructed the Navy because they’re afraid of rocking the boat during election year... and just like the SAS raid in Afghanistan where innocent civilians were killed not being investigated, that my friends is entirely unacceptable!