New Zealand Labour Party

Saudi cover-up a perversion of democracy

The Government has been exposed as dishonest after it was revealed that  they were wrong to claim they paid out $11 million dollars to a Saudi businessmen after legal advice, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Parker. 

“OIAs revealed on Radio New Zealand show that there was no such legal advice and that continual claims that it existed by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully are a perversion of democracy. 

“For two years they forced MFAT to cover-up this fact. They refused to answer questions in Parliament and Select Committees. This sad cover-up is now in tatters. 

“Treasury and the Auditor General have already said they could find no evidence of such legal advice. 

“The Government claimed we could not see the legal advice as it was legally privileged, but now we find that the advice didn’t even exist. 

“It’s scandalous that over $11 million dollars was wasted on cash, equipment and sheep for Saudi businessman Hamood Al Khalaf when no debt was owed. 

“In Parliament, Bill English hid behind the veil of ‘commercial sensitivity’ as part of the Government’s cover-up of the dodgy Saudi sheep deal, while proclaiming his Government is more transparent than ever before. 

“The truth is the opposite; they’re still engaging in dirty politics.  

“This whole affair paints a picture of a Government so eager to hang on to power that it has lost its moral compass. We have had Steven Joyce’s fictitious $11 billion fiscal hole, a misrepresentation that he knew was untrue -- a.k.a. a lie --  backed up by the Prime Minister. We now have proof that Murray McCully’s claimed legal advice never, ever existed,” says David Parker.