Just read that headline again for a second, Police raid of Investigative Journalist’s house ruled illegal.
Where would you expect that kind of headline?
A third world banana republic? A harsh authoritarian middle eastern country, or soviet satellite state or CIA client government?
The ruling that the Police illegally raided Nicky Hager’s home should force immediate attention on this issue by every media outlet in our country. This is a war on journalism being quietly waged by the Government via the Police force. The abuse of power is remarkable and there needs to be an immediate investigation into how this was allowed to occur and whether there was any political interference in this raid.
Hager wasn’t a suspect, he was a journalist with legal protections that the Police simply overrode without a seconds thought because his work had humiliated and embarrassed the Government.
Police searched and seized computers, phones and personal records from Mr. Hager’s home. They also intimidated Mr. Hager’s daughter (who was home at the time) by forcing her to dress in front of an officer and relinquish her personal computer. In addition, they asked a number of service providers to give them access to Mr. Hager’s personal details without a warrant or production order. Most of the service providers refused or asked for a warrant but at least one, the financial corporation Westpac, gave up eight month’s worth of Mr. Hager’s transaction records without asking the Police for a legal instrument compelling them to do so.
We now know…
- The Police were investigating Hager before a complaint was even registered.
- The speed with which they raided Hager’s home is incredible compared against similar crimes and lack of Police action on those.
- The Police also gained the information of 2500 NZers who holidayed in Vanuatu and there’s been no explanation what has happened to those peoples private information.
- Police threatened companies with legal action if they didn’t hand over information.
- Police didn’t bother with gaining search warrants for this information.
- Westpac damaged Hager’s credit rating based on being approached by the Police.
- Former National Party Minister of Justice Simon Power went to work at Westpac.
…why was there an immediate investigation? Who ordered that?
The Search and Surveillance powers the Police are trying to justify their illegal activity were passed to fight organised crime and terrorists. This all should alarm people because the Police have a history under this Government of breaking the law, and John Key just rolling up and pass retrospective legislation simply legalising their illegality. That creates a Police force who become a law unto themselves.
The Secret Intelligence Agency agreed to work with the PMs Office to falsely smear Phil Goff months before the 2011 election. To have the Prime Minister’s Office and the SIS collude to work together, how much of a jump is it to suggest the Police and the Government have colluded in this case against Hager?
Because if that’s true – there must be a push back against this type of abuse of political power.
Yes your house is over valued and that gives you a sense of slim security, but we can’t let this sort of thing happen. Cops raiding journalists homes for exposing abuse of power, that’s not NZ.
We are better than this.