An explosive political allegation is breaking this afternoon – a retired police officer who leaked information about a senior National government minister is in hiding today with his wife and children, saying he believes he is now being hunted by police because of what he knows.
“I slept in a jumbo bin dumpster the other night in Newmarket while the police helicopter circled overhead and patrol cars were circling the area looking for me after I managed to give the slip to a police surveillance team,” Nick Preece said today, adding, “I know what police surveillance is because it was part of my job on the force.”
Preece, a former homicide and robbery detective, spent 11 years in the police force before embarking on a business career that included establishing an international aviation company – JMI Aerospace – with offices in seven countries last decade.
He drove hundreds of kilometres in a borrowed car to meet InvestigateDaily, after leaving a false trail for the police or private security teams he says are tracking him.
Preece, with his wife and young children in the car as well, has told InvestigateDaily his troubles began after he “foolishly” let slip to an Auckland businessman last year details of an incident involving a senior cabinet minister.
It turned out the businessman had links to another senior National cabinet minister. InvestigateDaily has been told of meetings between the businessman and three senior Government ministers.
Now Nick Preece says he’s been forced into hiding to protect his family because of a police witch-hunt that he believes is driven by the Beehive; a witch-hunt involving electronic eavesdropping and unmarked police cars. If he’s right, the explosive claims would be far more serious than the offence that forced minister Maurice Williamson to resign this month, because it suggests the police have been used to apply pressure on a politically sensitive matter.
“I’ve never disclosed the source that told me, but they were obviously right on the scene, and they were all told, in fact everybody involved in the incident relating to [the Minister] was sworn to secrecy, they all had to sign sworn affidavits of non-disclosure. (full 2000 word feature after the break)
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