New Zealand First have laid a complaint with police over the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) giving evidence to a parliamentary inquiry.
NZPA understands party president George Groombridge laid the complaint at Masterton police station on Monday morning.
Last Thursday, party leader Winston Peters said the SFO had exceeded its powers by giving evidence to Parliament’s privileges committee.
The committee is looking into a $NZ100,000 donation from billionaire Owen Glenn for Peters’ legal fees.
Behind closed doors, the committee considered SFO evidence relating to Peters’ claim he paid back his lawyer $NZ40,000 in court-ordered costs from his failed Tauranga electoral petition.
The SFO is holding a separate inquiry into two other donations to NZ First.
Monday’s complaint alleged that SFO director Grant Liddell had acted illegally by supplying information to the privileges committee. The complaint accused him and other members of the SFO of abuse of statutory powers.
Last week Peters argued section 39 of the Serious Fraud Act precluded the SFO’s actions.
“What they’ve done is totally ultra vires (beyond its powers) and they’ve done it with malice in my view and I will set out to prove it.”
Peters could not comment on the evidence without breaching privilege, as the hearing was held in secret.
Section 39 of the Act requires the SFO “to observe the strictest secrecy in relation to any information which is protected under any Act other than the Inland Revenue Department Act”.
Information could only be disclosed internally within the SFO for investigating fraud or within the judicial system.
Knowingly breaching the rule could be punished by a $NZ5000 fine.
Following Peters’ comments Liddell said he had not misused his statutory powers.
The minister responsible for the SFO is Attorney-General Michael Cullen, a committee member.
He would not express confidence in Liddell after last week’s hearing. Prime Minister Helen Clark also declined to express confidence.
Liddell on Monday met with Cullen.