Why Is It So Difficult To Charge A Minister?

Published: Tue 2 Nov 1999 03:34 PM
Despite the whole of New Zealand seeing a blatant 'pushing to the throat of a student' last month the police have still failed to lay charges against Max Bradford. This stance that National's MPs are above the law has now been further supported by the failure of police to arrest Gerry Brownlee despite pictures of him manhandling a heckler at the National Party's launch.
"If the boot had been on the other foot I am sure both the student and the heckler would have been locked up until the courts decided whether or not a conviction should be made," said APSU Student Union President John Barkess today.
"In 1997 75 students were arrested for taking a step forward at parliament. The police did not wait for video footage. They did not wait to 'investigate the matter'. They arrested 75 innocent New Zealand citizens and locked them up. It's as simple as that."
"There is a video available of Bradfords encounter with a New Zealand citizen who was merely voicing his opinion. It is difficult to see this as anything but assault yet the police have so far failed to arrest and charge Bradford. This let off appears to have encouraged other National members to 'have-a-go'," said Barkess.
"The police are stretched to the limit coping with crime. They should not be made to 'investigate' an obvious altercation. That is a decision that is for the courts. The video shows physical contact between Bradfords' hand and the students' throat. The video shows that Bradford started it. That should be case closed."
"We are concerned that the heat is being put on the police by the National Party to delay their decision to charge Bradford and Brownlee until after the election. APSU Student Union has complete faith that the New Zealand Police Force is above political interference."

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