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Braunias: PM furious with Collins over murder charge

Aug 19, 2014 Politics

First published in Metro, April 2014


Prime Minister John Key is “very angry” with Minister of Justice Judith Collins amid fresh revelations she is facing a charge of murder.

Ms Collins claimed last week that police had spoken to her about a minor traffic infringement, but admitted yesterday that she had in fact been charged with homicide.

She is pleading not guilty, and expects that a jury will go along with her version of events.

Mr Key told reporters that he had “strong words” with the minister.

“I’m very angry with her,” he said. “And disappointed, too. At the end of the day, killing someone is unacceptable.

“But what’s even worse is that she didn’t come clean that she’d been caught.

“She had a responsibility to give us a heads-up about it, and I’ve let her know in no uncertain terms that she’s let me down a little bit.”

However, he accepted her assurances that she didn’t mean to kill the victim.

“Yeah, it’s not as though it was malice aforethought or anything like that. To be honest with you, it sounds like it’s more of a blunder than anything else.”

Nevertheless, he made it clear to her that her ministerial portfolio was in the balance.

Asked whether she was on her last chance, Mr Key said: “I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes if there was a repeat of it.”

Mr Key has drawn widespread praise for his tough, no-nonsense handling of the affair.

Ms Collins, meanwhile, is refusing to apologise.

“It’s not that I’m remorseless,” she said. “It’s just that I haven’t done anything wrong.”

Photo: Getty Images.


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