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Winston Peters yet to back Horan in money dispute

Published: 4:41PM Thursday November 29, 2012 Source: ONE News

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says he now has more evidence connected to allegations about his MP Brendan Horan, but has not yet given him his backing.

Horan has been given leave from Parliament to sort out a dispute over his mother's finances, after allegations surfaced linking him to more than $85,000 which has allegedly disappeared from his late mother's bank account.

Peters said today he now has bank statements from Horan's late mother's account but it will take some time to go through them.

In the meantime Peters was reluctant to give his MP his backing, saying "I'm not going to give any judgement until I've seen the facts."

He said he is also keen to gather more information about the accusations.

"The person who made the allegation had a duty to get me the information and he hasn't," Peters said, adding that he has also not yet been given legal information he was told would be given to him.

"I've known about it (the case) for two months, but for two months I was promised the moment probate was completed and granted by the court that I would get the information - I have not been given the information.

"So unless I beg, borrow or steal it I have to put all my energy into finding it myself which I have."

Horan will retain his $140,000 Parliamentary salary while the issue is dealt with, but Peters said he will not be idle.

"He's doing all his constituency work, he's doing all his correspondence, he's not on shore leave or beach leave or gardening leave - he's getting on with his job."

If the allegations are true Peters will sack Horan from the party but under the law he won't be able to remove him from Parliament.

Forensic accountants are investigating the estate of Horan's mother amid allegations that large sums of money were misappropriated from her bank accounts over several years.

Horan has welcomed the investigation, saying he wants to clear up allegations. He has also said he is considering legal action.

His mother, Olwen Horan, was 87 when she died in August this year. She was a former lottery winner, bagging over $1 million in prizes, including a house and a car, from an Australian lottery win in 1999.

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