Former National Party leader Don Brash has called for a Commission of Inquiry into the police investigation of the theft of his emails.
Dr Brash has written to Prime Minister John Key and Police Minister Judith Collins formally requesting the commission look into the integrity of the police investigation into the theft, and police behaviour since publicly announcing the investigation was closed.
Hundreds of his private emails found their way into the book The Hollow Men, written by Nicky Hager and released not long before the 2005 general election, which National lost.
A long police investigation concluded it was unlikely that anyone would be identified and charged "unless someone makes an admission during the interview process".
Dr Brash said he did not want the inquiry reopened but: "there are important issues relating to every New Zealander's privacy and the integrity of our political system that deserve resolution.
"Everybody has a right to expect their correspondence will not be illegally intercepted or read by people it is not intended for."
In a democracy everyone had an interest in being assured that the police take such issues seriously, he said.
We wholly support Brash's call for an inquiry. The investigation was, in our opinion, a sham, which reflects very poorly on the integrity of the New Zealand Police. The police response does nothing whatsoever to diminish the perception that the police has become politicised. Police hierarchy fought tooth and nail against the release of the file to Dr Brash, and even when it was finally released, it was so heavily censored that it was effectively worthless.
Contrast this with the NZ Police's response to media requests to release the Tony Veitch file, which we blogged about yesterday. The whole file was released, allowing the media to release all the salacious allegations against Veitch which were never and will never be proven or otherwise as the charges were withdrawn. This is a blatant double standard. The only inference which can be drawn from yesterday's event is that of a vindictive police force and media determined to ensure that the "truth" about Veitch came out.
But back to the Brash case. The role of the NZ Police must, in our considered opinion, be investigated. If the Police are confident that they did everything by the book, they should not fear a Commission of Inquiry. However if the police inquiry was flawed, or was in any way tainted by politics, it is essential that this is investigated, otherwise a large, dark cloud will continue to hover over Police NHQ.