Statement by the Minister of Finance and the Economy, Senator the Honourable Larry Howai:
I refer to various recent reports in the media relating to an investigation by the Securities Exchange Commission in 2005—some 10 years ago. The matter involved a number of persons and was brought to a close by the SEC in 2008, with no claims of infringements on my part.
My initial position to this most recent appearance of the matter in the media was to not respond to any unfounded imputations, as my understanding was that the entire matter had been fully cleared up to everyone’s satisfaction.
Up to this time, I have neither seen the report referred to in the media nor have I been given an opportunity to address the allegations said to be contained therein. To have such spurious assertions circulated in this manner is certainly a breach of natural justice.
It is extremely irregular and questionable that a confidential report on an issue that arose and was properly adjudged to have been a non-matter 10 years ago, would be resurrected in the public domain for what can only be deemed as purposes of mischief and even malice.
If indeed this confidential report was leaked, that in itself may constitute an unlawful act and as such, should be thoroughly investigated.
I have therefore asked my attorneys to examine all aspects of this matter to address clearly what appears to be an injustice to my character and professional persona.
May I state that I have never indulged, and never will engage in any form of inappropriate—far worse—dishonest or illegal conduct at any stage of my professional life.
I regard all of this to be a sad though unavoidable use of our time and attention.
Minister of Finance and the Economy