Claims by former Police Minister Kevin Foley that he concealed the results of a police investigation because it was an operational matter for police are laughable and without substance, Shadow Police Minister Rob Lucas said today.
It has been revealed this week that, prior to the election, the Police Commissioner gave Mr Foley the results of a South Australia Police (SAPOL) investigation into serious allegations of possible criminal conduct by former Liberal Ministers.
The allegations were made by the Auditor-General under parliamentary privilege at a Legislative Council Select Committee hearing.
Mr Foley’s defence, when he was accused of playing politics by concealing the results, was to claim that he regarded it as an ‘operational matter’ for police and that either the Auditor-General or Police Commissioner should have released the results.
However, on November 7 last year Mr Foley as Police Minister made a Ministerial Statement in Parliament on this investigation by Police and outlined publicly the progress of the investigation.
Mr Foley then went on to conclude:
“… and I will keep the house informed of any further developments in these investigations.”
Kevin Foley, Hansard, 7 November 2005
“Mr Foley’s own words make it clear it wasn’t an ‘operational matter’ for police last year and that he was happy to speak on the issue and play politics when he thought he could use the Auditor-General’s allegations to try to embarrass the Liberal Party,” Mr Lucas said today.
“However, all of a sudden when Mr Foley is caught out and embarrassed he changes his story and says it is an ‘operational matter’!
“Mr Foley stands condemned as former Minister for Police for using his position of authority to play politics with the results of a SAPOL investigation for the political advantage of the Rann Government.”