Did you know there is a 6 month statue of limitations on any electoral crime? Â Yeah… convenient.
Thereâ€™s a lot about the Liu donations that stinks. We shouldnâ€™t simply believe those parties and commentators that say â€˜It was all within the rules of the timeâ€™. Itâ€™s not clear that this was the case â€“ just as itâ€™s not clear that the rules would prevent this from happening in 2014. Similarly, even if such transactions were within the rules, itâ€™s not clear that the public shouldnâ€™t condemn the parties for getting around the rules.
Itâ€™s also entirely feasible that the Liu donations to Labour were funnelled through a law firm trust. As Geddis points out, there was certainly one law firm trust donation made in 2007 by Papakura firm â€˜Palmer Theron, Solicitorsâ€™ of $150,000 that could conceivably be the Liu money. But this is far from clear.
Whatâ€™s more, the wine auction in question was apparently carried out in the open, and Labour would have known who the bidders were. So for the Labour Party to claim no knowledge of Liu making those successful bids seems somewhat surprising.
We can all agree that there isnâ€™t necessarily a crime here. We can also agree that the Electoral Actâ€™s 6-month statute of limitation means that this legislation canâ€™t be used to trigger any investigation. So itâ€™s not necessarily a legal problem.
Although itâ€™s also the case that many people are suggesting that the Liu donation might not have actually ended up with the Labour Party as intended. In fact even the Labour Party is giving credence to this idea. This would be a matter under the Crimes Act. Others have pointed out that the Serious Fraud Office could still be involved.
This is why Labour areÂ beggingÂ National to fess up. Â There is just so much that needs to remain hidden. Â And the longer this farce continues, and the more money accumulates under the giant question mark, the more that the Serious Fraud Office is going to have a reason to come “help out”. Â Read more »