Speculation over who has been charged in National SFO donation case

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 29 Jan 2020, 7:11PM
The Serious Fraud Office filed criminal charges today against four people in relation to donations paid into a National Party electorate bank account. Photo / File

Speculation over who has been charged in National SFO donation case

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 29 Jan 2020, 7:11PM

Simon Bridges and the National Party might be off the hook, in relation to a Serious Fraud Office investigation into Party donations.

Four people have been charged after former National MP Jami-Lee Ross claimed Bridges had a $100,000 donation divided up to avoid declaring it.

But Bridges says he's not among them, and nor is anyone within the party.

Electoral law expert Andrew Geddis told Heather du Plessis-Allan he's not that surprised.

"For Simon Bridges to have been liable or to be charged here, he'd have done something as silly as saying to the donors 'I want you to give this money to the party in this illegal way'."

He says it's the Party Secretary who has duties in relation to donations.

"His duty is essentially to receive money, bank it, and pass the information across to the Electoral Commission. He has no obligation to actually ensure that the money he's receiving is genuinely from the people and so on who say they're giving it."

Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper says he has tried to contact Ross, but understands he has not been charged either.