According to TVNZ, Garrett said in a statement to the court during his passport fraud hearing:
Since being admitted in 1992 I have committed no criminal offence nor had any disciplinary proceedings brought against me either in New Zealand or Tonga. The worst I could be accused of is incurring some parking and speeding fines.We know he was convicted of an offence in Tonga on 2002. Garrett may well believe he is innocent in relation to that matter, but that doesn't take away the fact he was convicted.
I suppose he might try to argue that he never did what he was convicted of. After all, he didn't say "I have never been convicted". His words were "I have committed no criminal offences."
But I suspect that if Garrett really did say that to a court three years after being convicted in Tonga, the authorities might not be particularly understanding. If he made the statement under oath he might be in real strife.
Notwithstanding all of that, it seems likely that the Law Society will investigate consider whether Garrett is a fit and proper person to be practising law. The Herald reports:
A former head of the Law Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, Nigel Hampton, QC, told the Dominion Post he suspected the Law Society would start an inquiry into Mr Garrett without waiting for a complaint to be laid. It would look at whether Mr Garrett's passport scam and misleading the court were serious enough to warrant action for professional misconduct.He may be able to continue practising in Tonga. If not there are always the oil rigs.