Sep 25, 2008

SFO Head Gets Strong Backing

The NZ Herald today reports that widely respected Auckland QC Jim Farmer is backing the actions of the SFO chief.

Serious Fraud Office director Grant Liddell made a brave and correct decision to hand over evidence showing NZ First leader Winston Peters misled the privileges committee, says an Auckland Queen's Counsel.
Jim Farmer said criticism of Mr Liddell's judgment by Prime Minister Helen Clark and her deputy, Michael Cullen, was wrong and unwarranted.
Mr Liddell's evidence was uncovered in the SFO investigation and showed that Mr Peters had a $40,000 debt paid for him by the Spencer Trust, contradicting his version that he paid it himself.
Dr Farmer said Mr Liddell had a simple choice: whether it was responsible to "sit on" relevant information, or to hand it over.
"He is in charge of his own office and should do what he thinks right.
"He has obviously taken a responsible decision. It is very defensible on its merits and it doesn't warrant attack from politicians, particularly personal attacks in the form of saying he has poor judgment."
The criticism of Mr Liddell's judgment was particularly directed at how he did not consult Crown Law before handing over the evidence.