The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is seeking leave to appeal the NZ First Foundation decision made by Justice Pheroze Jagose after a trial in the Auckland high court last month.

The serious fraud investigator confirmed in a statement today that the Deputy Solicitor General had consented to a leave application being brought and Crown Law had filed a notice for leave to appeal with the Court of Appeal.

No further comment would be made while the matter was before the high court, the SFO said.

Justice Jagose issued a not guilty verdict back in July over the case of the two men that had been accused of fraud over donations to the NZ First Foundation.

Both men were granted permanent name suppression earlier in the week before the judgment by the judge.

Before the 2020 election, the pair had each denied two charges of obtaining by deception in what the SFO alleged was a fraudulent scheme to conceal nearly $750,000 in NZ First donations.

NZ First leader Winston Peters came out swinging after the judgment was announced and said the high court had confirmed that “no crime had been committed”, with the real guilty party being the “many in the NZ media who naively believe liars, and sadly take it upon themselves to conduct trial by media”.

After the decision was revealed, the SFO revealed it was “considering” the high court judgment which had rejected its allegations concerning the NZ First Foundation, before announcing its appeal today.