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Winston Peters claims vindication after not being charged in National Party SFO investigation

Today's boastful press conference hearkens back to 2012, when New Zealand First celebrated not being charged in relation to the murder of Scott Guy.

Today’s boastful press conference hearkens back to 2012, when New Zealand First celebrated not being charged in relation to the murder of Scott Guy.

New Zealand First leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is claiming total exoneration this afternoon after the Serious Fraud Office did not charge him with any crimes in relation to their investigation into suspect donations to the National Party.

“For the past few months, we’ve had the usual suspects and the shrill voices of the political netherworlds carrying on, as they always do, about donations to New Zealand First, accusing the party, and accusing me, of crimes we have demonstrably never committed,” said Peters, apparently reading from the back of a cigar package.

“It’s truly incredible just how hypocritical some people in politics can be. Twenty-seven years have we observed the electoral laws of this country, with very few breaks, and not once have we been found to have committed any crime, large or medium.

“Today is no different. Despite nearly a year long investigation into donations received and concealed by the National Party, neither myself nor anyone in New Zealand First has been charged in relation to this matter. How will our tireless critics explain that?

“When I pointed this out on national radio not one hour ago, it was said to me that we weren’t even investigated as part of this inquiry.”

Peters was also eager to emphasize that neither he or his party had been charged in any of three previous SFO investigations into CBL Insurance, accountant Christopher Wright, or liquidator Geoffrey Martin Smith.

He could not explain why he had been charged in relation to the investigation into John Williams, a former employee of Rural Livestock Ltd.

“That’s none of your business,” he said, abruptly ending the press conference.

Four people were charged today by the Serious Fraud Office in relation to donations made to the National Party in 2018, though their identities are not yet known. The matter was referred to the Serious Fraud Office early last year, after the Hilarious Fraud Office deemed it not funny enough to investigate.

Despite the charges, National leader Simon Bridges is also claiming exoneration. Bridges says he isn’t one of the four people charged, though can’t rule out being two or three of them.