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McCully doesn’t deny bribe in Saudi sheep scandal

“In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.

“In response the Minister refused to deny the allegation, which is scandalous.

“Despite dressing up part of the initial $4 million payment to the Al Khalaf business interests as being for intellectual property he wouldn’t - or couldn’t - explain what the supposed IP was for. 

“Al Khalaf needed New Zealand money, New Zealand expertise, New Zealand technology and New Zealand sheep to build his model farm. It beggars belief he contributed intellectual property worth paying millions of dollars for.

“The Minister also claimed part of the payment was to settle a legal dispute, but has produced no evidence to show such a claim would have succeeded. No Court claim had been filed. New Zealand’s prohibition on the export of live sheep for export was extended by the National government and is legal. A hollow legal threat does not justify the payment.

“The documents and Minister’s answers show the main reason for the payment was to remove an obstacle to advancing the Gulf Cooperation Council Free Trade Agreement.

“New Zealand is regarded around with the world as a clean hand to do business with and one of the least corrupt countries in the world. This National Government is sullying that reputation.” says David Parker.