In a landmark move that may well set a precedent for future legal cases, it has been revealed that National Party leader Simon Bridges intends to use the ‘Jon Snow’ argument when he faces investigators.
“I didn’t know any of this. I have no information in relation to the other donation,” Bridges said in a statement on Tuesday.
Bridges said he got the idea for the argument from watching HBO’s Game of Thrones, a popular series based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin.
“That red-headed chick kept telling the Jon Snow bloke he knew nothing,” Bridges told our Herald.
“And I thought to myself, hey! I can totally use that. So I told my lawyer to make it the main argument in my defense.”
Bridge’s lawyer declined to comment on whether he thought the argument would be successful when contacted by The Stuffed Herald.
“Look, I just do what I’m told,” he said. “Mr Bridges is paying me quite a lot and putting my kid through private school.
As far as I’m concerned, as long as what he tells me to say or do isn’t blatantly illegal, I’ll follow his instructions to the letter.”
The National party has been under fire repeatedly for its questionable management of large donations.
Under Electoral law, political parties must declare donations which exceed $15,000, and provide details of the donor.
The National Party is accused of failing to do this on at least two occasions, in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The allegations state that National party representatives deliberately split two large donations of over $100,000 each into smaller amounts to avoid declaring them.
But the argument Bridges plans to put forward may not work as well as he hopes it will, says a legal expert.
The Stuffed Herald spoke to a lawyer from one of New Zealand’s top firms, and he was highly skeptical of the strategy.
“It’s a lot like the Chewbacca Defense,” he explained. “The intention is to distract and cause confusion.”
The Chewbacca Defense comes from Chef Aid, an episode from season two of South Park, which satirised Johnnie Cochran’s arguments in the O.J Simpson murder trial.
However, the legal expert acknowledged that anything is possible.
“If the argument proves successful, other defendants will probably use it,” he conceded.
It is not yet known if or when Bridges will be required to take the stand in the courtroom.