Police say no case to answer against Nandor Tanczos MP

Police say no case to answer against Nandor Tanczos MP

National News

Wellington Police will not be prosecuting Green Party List MP Nandor Tanczos for his reported use of cannabis.

The inquiry outcome by Detective Inspector Harry Quinn, Wellington District Crime Manager was supported by legal opinions from Wellington Police Legal Centre and the Crown Law Office.

It was instigated following a complaint by Mr Craig McNair, New Zealand First MP, to Wellington Police District Commander, Superintendent John Kelly, on 2 October.

Both MPs were advised personally by Mr Quinn today of the outcome.

Mr McNair had alleged that Mr Tanczos had committed offences against section 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. His complaint was based on three statements attributed to Mr Tanczos in media interviews between April 2000 and September 2002.

These statements alluded to Mr Tanczos’ continued cannabis use, the frequency of that use and the fact that the use of cannabis was limited to Rasta religious practices.

Detective Inspector Quinn was tasked on 3 October to review Mr McNair’s complaint and to assess the appropriate police action to be taken.

As a result of inquiries made into the allegations and a review of the information, police concluded that no criminal offending could be established to the requisite standard on the evidence presently available.

Mr Quinn said he spoke to Mr Tanczos on 3 October and the MP understood the reason for the police investigation. &#34Mr Tanczos was cooperative but asserted his legal rights not to answer questions relating to his personal cannabis use.&#34

Without further statements from Mr Tanczos the police would fail to prove with any certainty that an offence had been committed on a certain date.

&#34While prosecutions based on historical admissions can be successful, the facts in this situation do not allow the police to commence a prosecution. The legal requirements of a section 7 Misuse of Drugs Act charge could not be established.

&#34Publicly stating that you intend using cannabis in the future is not an offence.&#34

Mr Quinn said the use and possession of cannabis is an offence and police will continue to prosecute where a case can be established and a prosecution is appropriate.