The Serious Fraud Office has charged six people over donations to the Labour Party:
The Serious Fraud Office has filed charges after an investigation into donations made to the Labour Party in 2017.
The criminal charges are against six people in relation to a donation made to the Labour Party and were filed yesterday in the Auckland District Court.
“The defendants are entitled to seek name suppression therefore the SFO will not be naming any defendants until any name suppression issues have been resolved,” the SFO said in a statement.
“We note, however, that none of the defendants are sitting MPs or are current or former officials of the Labour Party.“
Responding to the filing of charges, Labour Party general secretary Rob Salmond said: “The SFO has announced today that no sitting MPs and no current or former Labour Party officials have been charged in relation to their recent investigation.”NZ Herald
The charges appear to be about one donation only. My sources tell me that the device or mechanism used is similar to what is alleged in the National case also, in that one large donation was broken down and donated through multiple people.
This makes the story very interesting because my sources also tell me that the SFO is maintaining that Jami-Lee Ross is the person who devised the device or mechanism of the donations. That stance surely cannot last long, however, because some of these six people charged are the same people charged in relation to the National Party, and the dates of the Labour Party donations precede the National Party donations by more than six months. This makes it infeasible for the SFO to maintain their position with regard to Jami-Lee Ross.
If it is all as I have been led to believe from multiple sources of information, then all the rhetoric from Labour figures about National at the time (even though no one from National was charged) may come back and haunt Labour.
The more interesting aspect is the wording used by both Labour and the SFO to describe those charged. Neither say that one of the charged may be a former MP. My sources suggest that one is indeed a former Labour MP. If that is the case then it goes some way to explaining why they left parliament.
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