24 May 2012 - The Chair of the Independent Police Conduct Authority, Judge Sir David Carruthers, has issued the following statement following the sentencing in the High Court at Auckland this afternoon.
The Authority cannot make any comment in respect of the sentencing outcome, apart from noting there is an appeal period yet to run its course.
The previous Chair, Hon Justice Lowell Goddard, issued a statement on 30 March 2012 outlining the progress to that date in respect of the Authority’s investigations into a number of complaints about some events and Police conduct in Operation 8. Justice Goddard’s term as Chair of the Authority expired on 13 April 2012. The work undertaken on the Operation 8 investigations will be completed and finalised under the oversight of Judge Carruthers.
“The report is very near to completion and the Authority wants to make it public as soon as reasonably possible. It is important to preserve continuity during this transition in leadership”, Judge Carruthers said.
The Authority’s Act specifies a legal process with Police at this point (natural justice) which is now underway and must be completed. As part of the natural justice process, the Authority is awaiting a further Police response to issues raised in a draft report presented by Justice Goddard to the Commissioner of Police in February 2012 and will engage with Police regarding their response before finalising its report.
The progress of the Authority’s investigations has been affected by the delays regarding the trial at the High Court in Auckland, as well as the Supreme Court’s decision on 2 September 2011. It was essential to refrain from publicly reporting on the complaints during this time, in order to protect fair trial rights and adhere to Court orders restricting the disclosure of sensitive information.