Author Ian Wishart is amused at attempts by Police National Headquarters to spin the Howard Broad drink driving story.
"Anyone who reads the testimony of police officers in Absolute Power will find major discrepancies between the consistent story they tell, and the carefully crafted version released to the media by the Government.
"The Police and the Prime Minister's Office have had a year to get their stories straight, and in my view they appear to have either concocted a story, or possibly Broad was picked up twice in 1992 which - given the allegations from police quoted in the book, is possible. In this case, PNHQ may be using information from a different incident in an attempt to discredit the book."
"Readers of Absolute Power will note that the version of events offered by police today was not offered at all in response to last year's questions."
Wishart says that apart from major discrepancies in the two versions, other questions include:
1. When was the State Services Commission investigation initiated?
2. Who did the SSC investigation interview and what documentation did it view?
3. What approaches were made by Broad or anyone within police to officers involved in any "incident"?
4. Was this referred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority by Broad, Police, the SSC or the Government?
5. On how many occasions in his career has Broad been pulled over for alleged drink driving?
AT THE END OF THE DAY...we now have a clear admission from Howard Broad that he was caught drink-driving but that he and a "senior" passenger - (above the rank of Detective Inspector) - convinced a junior traffic officer that no further action need be taken...provided Broad parked the car and walked home.
Of course, this raises fresh questions about improper influence on a junior officer - Broad should have insisted he be fully tested and charged - what kind of "discretion" does a junior officer have in dealing with ranking officers, and what kind of "discretion" is offered ordinary citizens found drink driving to such an extent that their driving is noticed?
How, I suggest, does this differ from the Peter Doone case, except to the extent that there's no evidence the driver in Doone's case was under the influence, whereas in this case Broad has admitted he was?
Wishart says if Broad wants to challenge the allegations in Absolute Power, he should sue.