16 Jun 2009

Tiler tells court he could not follow discussion

9:28 pm on 16 June 2009

A key witness says he understood very little of a conversation with the former MP Taito Phillip Field about going to Samoa to do tiling work on his home.

Mr Field is on trial in the High Court in Auckland on 35 charges of bribery, corruption and obstructing justice.

A Thai tiler, Sunan Siriwan, says Mr Field offered him work on his home in Samoa, in exchange for a work permit so he could return to New Zealand.

During cross-examination from Mr Field's lawyer, Mr Siriwan told the court that most of what the former MP told him was translated through someone else. He says he could only understand fragments of what Mr Field was saying.

Mr Siriwan says Mr Field did touch him on his shoulder, saying, "You come to work for me in Samoa."

A further 21 witnesses are due to be called in the case.