INDEPENDENT NEWS

Who's Telling The Truth?

Published: Thu 21 Sep 2000 12:58 AM
Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson today accused the Prime Minister of telling one story to a public audience and another to her Ministers and Parliament.
An article in the Monday 18 September Howick & Pakuranga Times reports Prime Minister Helen Clark telling the Howick & Pakuranga Grey Power meeting that her views regarding the prisoners beaten up by guards at a Hawkes Bay jail were:
"If they want payment then they should sue".
Her view was that the officers should've faced prosecution, and the inmates made to fight for any compensation.
"I'd rather go to court and lose than pay out and that should be the method" the Prime Minister told the meeting.
However in Parliament the following day, Margaret Wilson, the Attorney General who authorised the payments was asked:
"Is it correct that the Prime Minister was furious that she had not referred this matter to Cabinet?"
Ms Wilson replied "I have absolutely no doubt at all, I have had nothing but support from the Prime Minister"
"By that answer the Attorney General was openly acknowledging the Prime Minister's support for her actions.
"Both accounts can't be right. Either Margaret Wilson has misled the House or Helen Clark was trying to curry favour with the Grey Power meeting.
"We have a right to know which one of these positions is correct," Mr Williamson said.
Ends
A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.

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