Green Party MP Keith Locke has called on Police Commissioner Howard Broad to take steps to find and plug the leaks to the media of evidence gathered to support the failed ‘terrorism’ charges, before those leaks further jeopardize the chance of fair trials on the alleged arms offences.
“On the weekend, TV3 gave its viewers a potted summary of a large document of surveillance evidence that TV3 said had been leaked to them. This was not the first time that the media have been leaked material that the Police have gathered concerning the Maori, peace and environmentalist activists arrested.
“Having failed with respect to the terrorism charges, the Police are now at risk of having their evidence leaked to an extent that will prevent the accused receiving fair trials on the arms charges.
“At the operational level, has Commissioner Broad been able to find out whether these leaks are emanating from the Crown Law Office, or from within his own ranks ? Stopping them should now be a top priority for the Commissioner, and ranked in importance alongside his commitment to mend relations with the people of Ruatoki.
“Commissioner Broad also probably needs to advise the public what he intends to do with this body of surveillance evidence, given that it will not now be used to support terrorism charges. If only to prevent any further damaging leaks of this information, there is an argument that the information should be expunged,” Mr Locke says.