29 Jan 2020

Criminal charges filed over National Party donations

From Checkpoint, 5:09 pm on 29 January 2020

The Serious Fraud Office has filed criminal charges against four people in relation to electoral donations paid into a National Party bank account.

It comes after former National MP Jami-Lee Ross lodged a complaint with police last year. Mr Ross claimed while he was still National's MP for Botany, National Leader Simon Bridges asked him to collect a $100,000 donation from businessman Yikun Zhang which was later split into smaller amounts to hide it.

The four defendants, who have not been named, will appear in court later next month.

Bridges declined to be interviewed but has confirmed neither he nor his party has been charged. The SFO says it also won't be commenting until suppression issues have been dealt with.

Otago University law expert Andrew Geddis who has been following this case closely talks to Lisa Owen