Thursday, May 17, 2018

The gift that keeps on giving

Remember sheepgate? Murray McCully's amazing plan to avoid a nonexistent lawsuit by bribing a Saudi businessman with $10 million of public money? McCully may be gone, but his legacy lives on: now, MFAT is being sued over his corrupt deal, by an NZ company angry they didn't get their cut:

An Auckland-based company has started legal proceedings against the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat) in the High Court, the Herald can reveal.

That raises the possibility of more costs related to the controversial, and still unfinished, project.

The company, Laurium Asset Management, helped put the Saudi businessman who now owns the agrihub, Hmood Al Khalaf, in touch with the National Government.

However, it was left out of the eventual deal, and later wrote to Mfat asking why its intellectual property had been used as the basis for the tender.

It's "intellectual property" presumably being the idea of paying a bribe. But I'm not sure you can claim IP over a crime (OTOH, I'm sure the US Patent Office would grant a patent for it - they do for everything else).

Being sued by National's bottom-feeders adds insult to injury, and hopefully it'll be thrown out of court. If its not, MFAT should dump the liability where it truly belongs: with its corrupt former minister.