Expat billionaire Owen Glenn’s version of the events surrounding his donation to Winston Peters legal fund is supported by telephone records and an independent witness. (More detailed account here.) Although Peters has yet to appear before Parliament’s Privileges Committee, it is difficult to see how he can salvage anything of his reputation for honesty now.
Top horse trainer Paul Moroney has provided an affidavit to the Privileges Committee saying that he was at a lunch at Karaka Horse Sales in 2006 at which Peters thanked Glenn for his help.
“During the luncheon discussion, part of the conversation between Mr Peters and Mr Glenn involved Mr Peters thanking Mr Glenn for his help to him.
“Mr Glenn had told me before the lunch that he was meeting Mr Peters over the lunch, because he had made a donation to assist Mr Peters fund his legal expenses concerning the Tauranga election result. I recall Mr Glenn telling me that Mr Peters had contacted him to ask for his help with this.”
Glenn has provided a record from 14 December 2005 of a call to Peters’ mobile, which Glenn says was to “inform him that I agreed to contribute”.
All other things being equal, an independent witness’s testimony trumps that of any other witnesses, such as Peters’ lawyer Brian Henry, in a court. Documentary evidence that confirms one side of the story also carries a great deal of weight when it comes to a conflict of evidence. On the face of it, Peters has lied to Parliament and to Prime Minister Clark about knowing about the Glenn donation. Serious stuff. But we will have to wait until tomorrow before demanding the axe. Due process.
Glenn’ also revealed that he consulted Labour Party President Mike Williams before donating to Peters’ legal fund, to ensure it would not be seen by Labour as “being unhelpful to its own interests”. We need to know more about that before we can start drawing conclusions, but that hasn’t stopped the righties of late from forming up lynching mobs, so expect an outpouring of froth in the blogosphere.