Judicial review hearing for Hagar
Investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s application for a judicial review into the police search of his Wellington home following the release of his Dirty Politics book will be heard at a substantive hearing in March.
In a judgement made in the High Court at Wellington yesterday, Justice Robert Dobson confirmed the hearing would take place on March 23 and 24.
The court heard that in applying for the judicial review, Hager asked the court to investigate the steps taken by police in applying for the warrant for the raid and also its execution.
The sooner we know about the real motives behind the NZ Police’s sudden decision to search and detain Nicky Hager’s computers and files, the better for NZ democracy. I say sudden decision because when you compare the NZ Police’s decision to search Hager’s house against their disinterest in the allegations in the book or the lack of interest in the Don Brash email case, it starts looking like the NZ Police are either acting in the interests of Cameron Slater or perhaps their own interests.
Cameron Slater makes a complaint to the NZ Police that his emails were hacked and stolen on August 28th. By October 2nd, the NZ Police had 5 Officers search Nicky Hager’s house for 10 hours. That’s 36 days.
Isn’t that astounding?
Put aside the fact the Greens made a complaint on the 14th August and Labour made a complaint on the 1st September, how can Slater get his complaint processed in just over a month?
Compare the time it took the NZ Police to investigate the theft of Don Brash’s emails that made up Nicky Hager’s book, The Hollow Men. In June 2007, Brash was told 9 months after making his complaint over the stolen emails that there was no progress on his case, and in fact Police closed the case 3 months after that.
So the leader of the Opposition can’t get the Police to investigate his stolen e-mails after 9 months in 2007, but Slater can get his complaint green lighted in 36 days?
Put aside the fact that the issues the Greens and Labour are complaining about are serious abuses of power and the Police have chosen to ignore those. Those allegations concern undermining of the Serious Fraud Office, undermining of the Financial Markets Authority, undermining of the head of the SFO, intimidation of witnesses (including Mr Gapes), use of personal information regarding Simon Pleasants to incite threats. In respect of the Minister, the corrupt use of personal information regarding Simon Pleasants to obtain an advantage (section 105A of the Crimes Act), use of that information (section 105B of the Crimes Act), accessing the Labour Party computer system in breach of section 249 and 252 of the Crimes Act and the use of dynamic (ie changing) email and computer addresses to avoid detection and the handing over of SIS info to Cameron Slater that went well outside the normal protocols for such information.
It also turns out thanks to the Inspector General’s report that the PM Office instigated and co-ordinated the release of falsified SIS information to smear Phil Goff months out from the 2011 election.
Put aside the allegations the Police are ignoring and why Slater can get his complaints processed with such speed, what about the fact that Hager is currently investigating corrupt NZ Police and that his information has been seized by that very same police force?
He further submitted that as some of the files seized included allegations of corruption within police, he was concerned that the data survived in its original condition.
Are the NZ Police acting with such extraordinary over reach because Hager’s next project could be looking at corruption within the NZ Police force?
Having the Police act for Slater’s interests is bad enough, having them try and gag investigative journalists because of the corruption he might expose about them, well that’s even more concerning.
Will this stir NZers out of their love affair with Key?
Highly unlikely I suspect. Muddle Nu Zilind seem to believe that Dirty Politics was all just a communist conspiracy and that using the SIS to smear the Leader of the Opposition months before an election is just politics as ‘normal’.
Of course if it had been Labour caught using the state spy agency to smear National months out from an election, there would be an armed rebellion amongst the mainstream media.
These are the double standards we now live under.