5 December 2001
"The connection between the wrongful accessing of Ron Mark's confidential and military files and the purpose for which
they were used has become very obvious with today's statement from Communications Trumps," according to New Zealand
First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.
"It is now irrefutable that those who accessed the files, protected by the Privacy Act and defence policy, had a
responsibility to maintain their confidentiality. Putting aside the issue of improper access, it is now patently clear
that the duty to maintain confidentiality was not met but flagrantly abused.
"The files were accessed and they got in the hands of non-military parties for purposes that that have no credible
explanation, other than an attempt to muzzle an MP going about his lawful duties. "The Minister of Defence on learning
of this breach, brought directly to his attention by his own Defence Chief of Staff Adamson, simply failed to act in an
"5 weeks after learning of this breach and only after a public outcry were terms of reference provided to the inquiry,
in fact on the morning that the inquiry was holding its first meeting.
"Why the Minister responded so inappropriately will soon be obvious, but in the meantime the cover-up is coming off,"
promised Mr Peters.