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Judge rejects Taito Phillip Field appeal

The Court of Appeal has thrown out disgraced ex-Labour MP Taito Phillip Field's appeal against his conviction on bribery and corruption charges, and refused to reduce his six-year jail sentence.Mr Field - currently serving his sentence - was jailed in Oct

Nina Fowler
Fri, 26 Nov 2010

The Court of Appeal has thrown out disgraced ex-Labour MP Taito Phillip Field’s appeal against his conviction on bribery and corruption charges, and refused to reduce his six-year jail sentence.

Mr Field - currently serving his sentence - was jailed in October last year after a jury in the High Court of Auckland found him guilty of 11 charges of bribery and corruption as an MP and 15 charges of perverting the course of justice.

Between September 2003 and late 2005, Mr Field – a serving MP - provided immigration assistance to various Thai tradesmen in exchange for free or low cost labour on properties in NZ and Samoa.

The total value of the work done was estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, though the exact value was disputed.

In a decision released today, Court of Appeal Justice Grant Hammond upheld Justice Rodney Hansen’s interpretation of the legislation, jury direction, handling of evidence, and conviction and sentencing decisions.

Justice Hammond wrote that the evidence on attempts to pervert justice by Mr Field was "particularly troubling".

"From the moment Mr Field saw that he was in distinct difficulties on this imbroglio he indulged in a prolonged and determined effort, 'working' on witnesses giving evidence to the Ingram inquiry to avoid the adverse implications for his political career and to deflect possible criminal convictions."

He found that the sentence imposed on Mr Field could not, in any view, be said to be manifestly excessive.

All grounds of appeal against Mr Field’s sentence and conviction were dismissed.

Nina Fowler
Fri, 26 Nov 2010
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Judge rejects Taito Phillip Field appeal
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