Feeley did not suspect leaks

Adam Feeley
Adam Feeley
Former Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley says he would not have briefed ministers on investigations if he had had any suspicion information was being leaked to others.

Asked whether he was ever concerned information onthe Hanover investigation in 2011 he had given to Judith Collins or her officials might have found its way to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Hanover director Mark Hotchin or the company's lawyers, Mr Feeley refused to comment directly on the case.

But Mr Feeley - now Queenstown Lakes District Council chief executive - confirmed he did "periodically give ministers indications of where particular investigations were going".

"We often had concerns that when we interviewed people, there had been some form of disclosure by some parties, but that wasn't specific to ministers.

"That related more to people involved in cases.

"Would I have disclosed information to any minister if I had concerns about the security of that information?

"No, of course I wouldn't."

Ms Collins resigned from the Cabinet on Saturday after an email was revealed in which her name was linked to a smear campaign against Mr Feeley run by Mr Slater and other parties linked to Mr Hotchin.

He was at the time under investigation by the SFO.

Ms Collins has denied taking part in any smear campaign.

Ms Collins' resignation was prompted by Prime Minister John Key's release of the email from Mr Slater in which the blogger claimed she had been "gunning" for Mr Feeley while she was minister in charge of the SFO.

Former SFO general manager Simon McArley told 3 News he believed the SFO was targeted in a smear campaign during its Hanover inquiry.

The New Zealand Herald now understands the email Mr Key released onSaturday was forwarded to a Beehive staffer by Mr Slater's friend Cathy Odgers, who blogged under the name Cactus Kate.

Other emails between Ms Odgers, Mr Slater and public relations consultant Carrick Graham released to media yesterday suggest the trio also plotted to work against another regulatory body, the Financial Markets Authority.

In one email, released by a hacker who claims to have takenthe messages from Mr Slater's computer, Mr Slater says, "Let us go to war on the Financial Markets Authority, Hotchin stays quiet, we do the hitting."

Labour leader David Cunliffe said if the allegations against Ms Collins were true, "they would show corruption which goes to the heart of the Government".

"This is John Key's network, this is not just about Judith Collins.

"This is a much bigger, deeper issue.

"Something is rotten in the heart of the National Government."

Mr Key said Mr Cunliffe was "trying to create a political smear . . ."

He said Ms Collins had disputed the version of her role set out by Mr Slater in the email.

Journalists mentioned in the same email had also rejected what he said about them.

The SFO wound up its criminal investigation against Hanover last year, saying its threshold for a prosecution had not been met.

About 16,000 people lost most of their money after the failure of Hanover and related companies, and the sale of assets to Allied Farmers.


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