Phil forgot this one too

Phil Goff really does have a faulty memory. He can’t remember SIS briefings, he can’t remember 6 soldiers before a court martial for drug offenses and now he can’t remember a Colonel who abused duty free privileges who smuggled vast quantities of liquor, all on his watch as Defence minister.

A senior army officer who abused his duty free privileges while serving as a military attache at the United Nations in New York has been reprimanded and fined $1500.

Colonel Selwyn Heaton, who bought 100 bottles of gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, liqueur and wine and more than 200 packets of cigarettes for a friend just three weeks before his posting was due to end in 2006, pleaded guilty at a court martial at Trentham yesterday to two charges of bringing discredit to the army.

He pleaded not guilty to two alternate Crimes Act charges of deception, which could have carried a much stiffer sentence. Those charges were withdrawn.

The charges follow a major inquiry after an anonymous letter to the UN alleged he had sold duty free goods to a friend.

An audit of Heaton’s activities while a military adviser to the UN from 2002 till 2006 found e-mails from a Canadian friend, Rick Schwartz, asking Heaton to order large quantities of liquor. Heaton signed a form saying it was for personal use.

Duty and taxes of $1180 were avoided on two transactions involving more than 100 bottles of liquor and 200 cartons of cigarettes.

A far cry from his claims that “he could recall nothing similar during his tenure as Defence Minister between 2005 and 2008.

We are fast getting a picture of Phil Goff’s powers of recall.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.