INDEPENDENT NEWS

Breach Of Privilege – Hon Margaret Wilson

Published: Wed 16 May 2001 09:37 AM
Tuesday 15th May 2001
“Attorney-General Hon Margaret Wilson appears to have committed a breach of privilege when she claimed to parliament that it was Mr Yelich’s lawyer Peter Williams QC who first raised the proposal that the defamation settlement between Mr Yelich and the Prime Minister be secret,” ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble said today.
“The ACT party will be raising the matter with the Speaker. There are well established precedents that when a member of the public states that a Minister has lied, then the matter is referred to the Privileges Committee.
“This case is not a minor matter. There has never been a taxpayer-funded settlement for a defamation by a Prime Minister. The government has never paid money to keep any settlement secret. This agreement gives Mr Yelich $20,000 for the defamation and $35,000 to keep it secret.
“As it is public money the Crown should have refused point-blank to agree to any confidentiality clause. On the face of it why would Mr Yelich want a confidentiality clause? In these cases it is usually the party paying the settlement that asks for confidentiality. It appears far more likely that it is Mr Williams and Mr Yelich who are telling the truth.
“If the Privileges Committee finds that Ms Wilson has misled parliament, as she is Attorney-General she would have to resign.
“This is an issue that raises serious constitutional issues. If the Minister has deliberately lied to parliament it is a scandal,” Mr Prebble said.
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Foreign Minister to visit United States of America
By: New Zealand Government
Gordon Campbell on the Aussie banks’ latest fee hike excuse
By: Gordon Campbell
Terms of Reference for Defence Estate Review Released
By: New Zealand Government
Race Relations Commissioner appointed
By: New Zealand Government
Students granted formal qualifications after fees scrapped
By: New Zealand Government
Have your say on new rules for medicinal cannabis
By: New Zealand Government
Disappearance of nine firearms surrendered to Police
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
Gordon Campbell on New Zealand First’s stellar balancing act
By: Gordon Campbell
Asbestos court victory over ACC after lung cancer death
By: RNZ
Peters insists focus remains on Australia deportation policy
By: RNZ
Peters must reject US demands
By: Auckland Peace Action
Q+A: Dr Alan Bollard and Cameron Bagrie interviewed by Tame
By: TVNZ
ComCom files High Court proceedings against Westpac
By: BusinessDesk
Inland Revenue charging higher interest than banks
By: New Zealand National Party
Defence morale will plummet as reviews stack up
By: New Zealand National Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media