“Outcome of re-investigation into Todd Barclay allegations”
Attribute to Assistant Commissioner (Investigations) Richard Chambers:
On 27 June 2017 Police announced that a re-investigation had commenced into allegations that the private communications of an individual were intercepted by Mr Todd Barclay, who was then MP for Clutha-Southland.
This followed the earlier investigation in 2016 which found that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.
The re-investigation was in light of further comment and information which arose in the public domain in June 2017.
Police has assessed all this information, spoken again to some individuals already interviewed, and also spoken to new individuals it was thought may have relevant information.
Police took further steps to interview Mr Barclay who again declined, as is his right.
After a thorough review of all information available to us, including legal advice both internal and from Crown Law, plus consideration of the Solicitor General’s prosecution guidelines, Police has determined that there is no change to the outcome of the original investigation.
In that first investigation no search warrants were sought or executed as there was insufficient evidence to seek such warrants. That remained the situation during the re-investigation.
As part of the re-investigation Police also looked at suggestions that there had been an element of coercion in relation to certain key witnesses. We have found nothing to substantiate these suggestions.
We are aware that the original investigation has been subject to some criticism.
We would point out that the Independent Police Conduct Authority found that it was “satisfied that the Police followed proper process and appropriately exercised their discretion not to take the matter further.” In a further comment the Authority also “determined that there is no foundation for the claim that the Police acted inappropriately or neglected their duty.”
Police has taken exactly the same approach with the re-investigation.
While we recognise the strong interest in this matter, the foundation of any decision to seek warrants or to prosecute is always the evidence available to us.
Speculation, hearsay and third party information does not in itself constitute such evidence.
We are satisfied that all necessary and lawful steps have been taken in relation to both phases of this investigation.