30 Aug 2008

"Witch hunt" against Peters -QC

12:06 pm on 30 August 2008

The Queen's Counsel acting for Winston Peters spoke of a witch hunt against his client before a meeting with the Serious Fraud Office on Saturday morning in Auckland.

Mr Peters on Friday stood aside from his foreign affairs duties while the SFO investigates donations to the New Zealand First Party by Sir Robert Jones and the Vela brothers.

His lawyer, Peter Williams QC, arrived at the SFO offices in Auckland shortly after 10am; telling waiting media he had information that completely clears Mr Peters.

He said Mr Peters has been the subject of a witch hunt and a feeding frenzy by people with vested interests. He said all the money involved was paid into the appropriate accounts.

Afterwards, Mr Williams said the half hour meeting was cordial and he has confidence in the Serious Fraud Office. He said he was not told how long the inquiry will take, but he believed it will be over quickly.

Prime Minister Helen Clark has taken over Mr Peters' ministerial portfolios.