Ex-SFO lawyer excused from court

By Edward Gay

Anita Killeen in a file photo taken in 2009 at the SPCA with her new dog. Photo / Supplied
Anita Killeen in a file photo taken in 2009 at the SPCA with her new dog. Photo / Supplied

The Serious Fraud Office's former chief prosecutor was this morning formally charged with four offences relating to a forged email sent to media organisations.

Anita Killeen was excused from attending the Auckland District Court today, with the reasons suppressed.

Her lawyer John Haigh QC told the court that he had handed up a letter explaining why his client was not in court.

He asked for the letter to be sealed and put on the court file.

"The report, Sir, speaks for itself," he told Judge Tony Fitzgerald.

According to police charge sheets, 35-year-old Killeen is alleged to have created a false document which was made to look as if Serious Fraud Office chief executive Adam Feeley was the author.

She is alleged to have sent the email to the Herald and the National Business Review.

Killeen was with the SFO for seven years but lost her job last year after a restructure following Feeley's appointment.

Feeley was the subject of media stories last month after it was revealed he celebrated the laying of criminal charges against Rod Petricevic by drinking Bridgecorp directors' champagne with his staff.

The story was based on an email written by Feeley and sent to staff saying it had been "a fantastic week" because of the prosecutions against Bridgecorp and other high-profile investigations, including Five Star Finance.

Feeley defended sending the email, saying: "I would struggle to think that any reasonable person would consider a $70 bottle of wine an outlandish recognition."

The SFO boss was reprimanded by the State Services Commission, but escaped serious censure for the actions.

Soon after, the Herald and the National Business Review received a hard copy of another email allegedly written by Feeley.

It is understood that the contents of the second email would have further tarnished his image, but Feeley denied having written it and an investigation into its origins began.

The Herald was served with a search warrant from police and an anonymous letter and email were handed over.

The Judge said Killeen was to live at her Mt Wellington address and must surrender her passport to police by this Friday.

She is due to appear in court next month.

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n3 at 17 Sep 2014 20:11:33 Processing Time: 599ms