Taito Philip Field - 2009 Review

  • Breaking
  • 16/12/2009

By Rachel Hart

Disgraced former MP Taito Phillip Field showed no-one is above the law when he was handed a six-year jail term earlier this year.

It followed a 14-week trial at the High Court in Auckland, which ended with a jury finding him guilty of 26 of 35 criminal charges.

Field was found guilty of 11 of 12 charges of bribery and corruption as an MP, after the Crown said he had Thai nationals carry out work on his properties in return for immigration help.

He was also found guilty of 15 of 23 charges of wilfully attempting to obstruct or pervert the course of justice – relating to his evidence to an inquiry into the work on his homes.

Crown prosecutor Simon Moore said preparation for the trial took up the best part of four months, with about 4000 pages of evidence.

To see a timeline of the main events surrounding the Taito Philip Field trial and links to our stories, please see below.

November 2002 – October 2005: Taito Philip Field reportedly allows several Thai nationals whom he was helping with immigration issues to work on seven of his properties for little payment, other than the costs of materials.

September 21, 2005: The Prime Minister appoints Noel Ingram QC to investigate allegations of corruption, against the Associate Minister of Justice Taito Philip Field.

October 19, 2005: Taito Philip Field is dropped as a Minister from the Labour Cabinet.

October 27, 2006: Police raid the home and offices of Taito Philip Field, seizing computers and other items.

February 16, 2007: Field resigns from the Labour Party after being expelled from the party and says he will return to Parliament as an Independent.

May 5, 2008: Key witness Sunan Siriwan gives evidence in court for the first time. He tells a hearing at Manukau District Court he would get a visa from Taito Philip Field if he did work for him.

April 22, 2009: Field’s trial begins at the High Court in Auckland.

July 30, 2009: The jury retires to consider its verdicts after a disruption from Maori activists as the judge delivers his final address.

August 4, 2009: Former MP Taito Phillip Field is found guilty of 26 of the 35 charges he faced.

August 6, 2009: Taito Phillip Field will soon lose the perks of a long-serving MP, including controversial travel allowances.

August 28, 2009: Thai tiler Sunan Siriwan and his family are thrown a lifeline, and told they can stay in the country another two months before a final decision is made.

October 3, 2009: Disgraced former cabinet minister Taito Phillip Field issues an apology, of sorts, to supporters in his former electorate of Mangere, saying ‘his conscience is clear’.

October 6, 2009: Taito Phillip Field begins a six year jail sentence for bribery and corruption.

November 6, 2009: Thai tiler Sunan Siriwan and his family are issued a two year residency permit.

source: newshub archive