Monday, August 18, 2008

Planned ignorance no defence in Peter's case

Donations saga impacts Peters (02:00) -Related Video

Winston Peters was belligerent, argumentative and highly flustered in his first day before a privileges committee tonight regarding suspect donations given to himself personally or his Party NZ First.

Peters has stated that he didn't break any funding laws because his lawyer never sent him a bill!

Peters as a lawyer himself should know that ignorance of a law is no defence against evidence that clearly condemns a defendant.

Peters defences against the $100,000.00 dollar donation from Owen Glenn was that the cheque was paid into his solicitor Brian Henry's account to help meet his legal costs and Henry did not tell him about it until July this year.

Another clear cop out, It is still in effect a donation to Peters.

There seemed to be a lax relationship between Winston Peters and his lawyer Mr Henry, with Peter's legal bills, most related to political matters, paid for by Henry after he himself procured funding from various sources, one such source of funds coming from Owen Glenn.

Peters is clearly guilty of at least accepting money, one way or the other, from various sources, and not openly declaring that money.

The fact that Peters "didn't know" is highly erroneous because Peters knew because of his casual relationship with Mr Henry and that it might mean money used to pay any "legal bills" might need to be declared. Otherwise why would they both insist that Peters shouldn't know?

So now having been caught he can claim innocence because he "didn't know"?

The committee presiding over the hearing will now decide whether to get evidence from any other player in the saga before preparing a report to be debated in Parliament.

c Political Animal 2008

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