New Zealand’s carefully cultivated image as a ‘safe place’ was exposed as #FakeNews with the revelation that an attempted assassination of the Queen on a royal tour to the country was covered-up.
Teenager Christopher John Lewis fired at the Queen at the Otago Museum Reserve.
As reported by The Telegraph
Nearly four decades on from the incident, Tom Lewis, an ex-Dunedin detective sergeant, has alleged that a troubled teenager shot at the Queen and came yards from hitting her.
In an interview with the New Zealand website, Stuff, Mr Lewis claimed that Christopher John Lewis, then 17, fired at the Queen as she alighted her motorcade to greet a crowd gathered at the Otago Museum Reserve.
However, Mr Lewis claims that the attempt on the Queen’s life was quickly covered up by police and the New Zealand Government, which feared that the near-miss would scupper any chance of her returning to the country.
He added that, as the distinctive crack rang out around the area, police attempted to disguise the seriousness of the threat, telling British journalists present that the noise was a council sign falling over.
Furthemore details of the incident were altered and police and the government allegdly ordered the original police statement must be destroyed
When later questioned, the story was altered to suggest that the noise had been the result of somebody letting off firecrackers nearby.
A story published by The Daily Telegraph the following day appears to support Mr Lewis’s claims, noting that a sound “like a firecracker” had gone off, but that the Queen had not seemed to notice.
In fact, the reality of what had transpired became a tightly-guarded secret, with the New Zealand Government allegedly ordering that the original police statement be destroyed.
“You will never get a true file on that,” Mr Lewis continued. “It was reactivated, regurgitated, bits pulled off it, other false bits put on.
The would be assassin wrote that Government officials visited him and made him swear to silence. The man
“The fact an attempted assassination of the Queen had taken place in New Zealand… it was too politically hot to handle.
A police report published that year appears to verify the claims, noting: “The discharge of a firearm during the visit of Her Majesty the Queen serves to remind us all of the potential risks to royalty, particularly during public walks.”
He also claimed that Lewis’s original statement given to police on his arrest was destroyed, and that officers were told not to charge him under orders from “up top”.
In a draft autobiography later published after Christopher John Lewis’s death, the would-be assassin wrote that he was frequently visited by high-ranking Government officials and sworn to silence.
“If I was ever to mention the events surrounding my interview or the organisation, or that I was in the building, or that I was shooting from it – that they would make sure I ‘suffered a fate worse that death’”, he wrote.
Lewis was, however, charged and taken to court – but his alleged assassination attempt on the Queen was downgraded to possession of a firearm in a public place.
He was jailed for three years, spending his last in a psychiatric ward, where in 1983, then seemingly obsessed with wiping out the royal family, he was found to be planning to murder Prince Charles.
Over the years there have been many crime coverups in New Zealand and the thin blue line between state and law enforcers has worn very thin, but this is the first time that we’ve heard of police statements altered to coverup a major incident.
This is indicative of long standing, major problems in New Zealand:
- Gun crime and the lax firearms control
- Mental health issues
- Altering of crime data that is embarrassing to the government
- Covering up news that is damaging to the country’s reputation.
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