Did Bill English destroy evidence? | The Jackal

9 Aug 2017

Did Bill English destroy evidence?

It’s amazing just how much vitriol is being generated on New Zealand's right-wing blogs at the moment. Some of it is bordering on insanity, and has definitely gone well over the bounds of reasonable civilised debate.

Since the National party's propagandists are frantically pontificating about honesty, I thought it might be worthwhile pointing out the continued dishonesty of the current unelected Prime Minister, Bill English.

Yesterday, NZ First reported:

Facts Blow Holes In PM's 'I Know Nothing’

“When asked in Parliament yesterday about the contradiction in his answers Mr English said he stood by ‘what he said at the prime ministerial press conference’.

“Mr English was also asked which of the following statements he stood by:

a) ‘I wasn’t involved and didn’t know about the nature of the employment settlement.’

b) The ‘settlement was larger than normal because of the privacy breach’ and had to be ‘part paid from the Prime Minister’s budget to avoid potential legal action … Everyone unhappy’.

“The Prime Minister’s response was the well-worn one – he claimed he did not have ministerial responsibility.

“It will be difficult for National Party voters to stand by Mr English, when his integrity and honesty has been shattered by the facts.

There is no question that Bill English was acting as the Prime Minister when he made statement A in a prime ministerial press conference. Even though it galls me to admit it, English clearly was at that time the PM of New Zealand. It is arguable that English was also acting as the PM when commenting about the Prime Ministers budget as well.

Being that Parliamentary Services has handed over the phone records of journalists when pressured by the Prime Ministers office makes English seem highly hypocritical in not being up front about his own questionable communications.

Even if English was using his own personal phone, under the law he cannot simply remove texts from it in order to hide evidence concerning an alleged crime, especially while an active Police investigation is underway. He’s not allowed to simply dispose of evidence or have somebody else dispose of it either.

Destroying evidence is a serious crime and must be treated as such by the Police, no matter who the perpetrator is.

The Crimes Act 1961 states:

Conspiring to defeat justice

Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who conspires to obstruct, prevent, pervert, or defeat the course of justice in New Zealand or the course of justice in an overseas jurisdiction.

After the Police’s search of various media outlets because of the teapot tape, Todd Barclay’s alleged illegal recording of a National party staffer, Glenys Dickson, should not and must not be treated any differently.

The search and seizure of evidence where a serious crime is believed to have occurred doesn't necessarily require a warrant, so Police should act without further delay. The Police have the power and should have seized the evidence held by the National party leader and/or his associates.

If English or his accomplices have disposed of the evidence, under the law the Police must act on that as well. They cannot and must not treat the Prime Minister differently during such an investigation, especially where a crime of this nature is alleged.