Witness in Field trial complains of financial hardship

By Andrew Koubaridis

A key witness in the corruption and bribery trial of former Government Minister Taito Phillip Field has complained about the financial hardship his family is suffering while he waits to give evidence.

Sunan Siriwan, a Thai tiler who allegedly did work for Field in exchange for help with immigration matters, isn't likely to give evidence until later this month. It's understood Siriwan and his family are experiencing financial difficulty.

Field is facing 12 charges of bribery and corruption as an MP and 23 charges of wilfully obstructing or perverting the course of justice. The trial is expected to last until July.

Mr Siriwan and his wife Aurnporn Phanngarm are upset authorities have failed to provide for them when it is the police who want him to stay in the country to give evidence.

An injunction on publishing Sirwan's comments about the difficulty his family has been having was lifted by Justice Rodney Hansen in the High Court at Auckland this morning.

The injunction was placed on TV3 late yesterday afternoon after Crown Solicitor Simon Moore SC and Field's lawyer Paul Davison QC raised concerns that the integrity of the trial could be threatened if Mr Sirwan's comments were broadcast last night.

"It is clear there is nothing in the news item which touches directly on issues raised in this trial," Justice Hansen said.

"There is a high priority placed on freedom of the press, and I acknowledge that substantial grounds are required before the court will take steps to curtail freedom of speech," he said.

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