Secret police trials using secret evidence in NZ – welcome to my Kafkaesque nightmare


So this is happening – secret Police trials with secret evidence in a case about abuse of police power…

‘Secret’ evidence in closed hearing – how police want to defend access of blogger’s details without a legal warrant
Police are trying to use secret evidence to defend searching an activist’s personal banking records without a warrant while hunting for the hacker Rawshark.

Activist and blogger Martyn Bradbury has provided the Herald documents showing the police are seeking a closed hearing of the Human Rights Tribunal to present evidence it does not want made public.

In an application to the tribunal from Crown Law, the lawyer acting for police said: “Police indicate at this stage that it will seek to invoke the “closed” hearing process in relation to information relevant to this claim.”

Bradbury, who had been self-represented, said he was now talking to civil rights lawyers.

“I’m incredibly unhappy they are wanting part of this to be a secret trial with secret evidence.”

The step could mark the first time the tribunal accepted secret evidence in a closed hearing against the objections of the person who had brought the prosecution.

In a previous instance in which police presented secret evidence, it was with the consent of the person who felt maligned by an employment vetting process.

The police position is in contrast to the apology provided to journalist Nicky Hager after obtaining 10 months of his banking records without a warrant.

Hager, who wrote the book Dirty Politics based on information allegedly hacked by Rawshark, won from police the admission “Mr Hager had a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to that information”.

The tribunal hearing is the latest to emerge from a cosy arrangement which had developed between banks and police, which has seen banks handing over customer information wholesale to police without any legal basis for doing so.

The practice saw police exploit a section of the Privacy Act, which allows agencies holding people’s information to provide it without legal order if doing so would help “avoid prejudice to the maintenance of the law”.

Banks were meant to ensure police provided “enough information to justify the disclosure”so they could make a decision.

In practice, it was simply provided without cause and some banks used it as a red flag warning about customers and closed down credit opportunities.

Bradbury alleges this is what happened in his case, and the effect of being refused credit without understanding why contributed to mental unwellness that ultimately led to attempts to self-harm.

He has also maintained there is nothing which could possibly link him to Rawshark as he had nothing to do with the hacking.

Barrister Felix Geiringer, who acted for Hager in the Dirty Politics fallout, said it was a matter of law that procedures in hearings which were hidden from other parties were “extraordinary” and only to be used in “extremely limited circumstances, if ever”.

“There is a serious question as to what the possible justification could be.”

Geiringer said the case involving Hager meant there would also be “serious questions” as to whether any justification would survive proper scrutiny.

He said the difficulty with closed hearings was it deprived affected parties from applying such scrutiny to secret testimony.

The police concession in the Hager case included recognising the law had been clarified through a recent Supreme Court ruling.

“In light of that judgment, Police accept that they needed to obtain a production order in order to obtain Mr Hager’s banking information,” said police.

In Bradbury’s case, the Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has already ruled police “were not justified” asking for the banking records.

“It is our view the request for your banking records, given their sensitivity, ought to have been placed before a judicial officer for decision on whether it met the grounds for a production order.”

A spokesperson for police said no comment would be made because the case was before the tribunal.

…for the love of Christ!

This is a democracy, not a bloody Police state, the Police breached my privacy, breached nay cicl rights and now, after all these years of finally dragging them to court, they now want to hold a secret trial using secret evidence I can’t even challenge.

Isn’t it incredible how left wing journalists, activists, Māori, environmentalists, Greenpeace, the Green Party, earthquake survivors and left wing bloggers all  have to accept erosions of civil liberties in NZ, except for white supremacists who apparently can plot atrocities for years and the State doesn’t seem to want to annoy them.

If the cops can do this to me, if they can do it to Nicky, they can do it to you.


  1. It is a very bad precedent to have secret trials with secret evidence

    ….this does NOT happen in a democracy

  2. Excellent post, Mr Bradbury.

    And it is not like these white supremacists have not done enough violence already – including the racist murder and beheading of an entirely innocent Korean backpacker a decade ago. Yet a shooter of the same sort of ideology, flew completely under the radar, in spite of numerous posts on facebook and weapons purchases.

    The intelligence authorities have fucked up. Royally so. And look how they responded to Tame Iti and the Tuhoe a decade ago, people with a real cause and who have never been violent. But the authorities did absolutely nothing when a former member of a gunclub that the shooter had been a part of approached the police with his concerns. If it had been a Maori group, the response would have been totally different.

  3. That is appalling Martin.
    Police hierarchy wish to be a law unto themselves.
    Let hope our legal system can actually deliver you justice.

  4. Yep Martyn,

    My son was born in Napier learned this first hand, how lopsided the justice is in NZ, when his fiance came to NZ to get wed to her, but she was a German lady 31 yrs old and was rejected to work here as she was 31 yrs old so they were forced to go back to Germany..

    But the drug-importer kick boxer Czech drug-smuggler Karel Sroubek that is now in jail was allowed in?

    Go figure eh?

    • +1 Cleangreen, maybe as a German citizen she is used to social democracy and human rights so not really the type of citizen, NZ neoliberals want to attract here anymore?

      Also she can access her own social welfare in her country and not use NZ as a type of free health and education care for future generations as we see from satellite families operating here, all part of the future of overloading NZ social welfare to destroy it and privatise it, from the canny Rogernoms!

  5. Un fckn believable Martyn, on a quick reading of the privacy commissioner’s guide lines.

    Last paragraph

    Voluntary request as a first step in an investigation. At an early stage of an investigation, a law enforcement agency may have insufficient information or grounds to apply for a compulsory order to compel the release of the relevant information. This can make it difficult, if not impossible, to progress any criminal investigation. In this context, a voluntary request can be a necessary prerequisite to obtaining compulsory orders.A request may be the only practical means of obtaining the information in order to effectively investigate (and avoid prejudice or harm to the maintenance of the law), particularly at the initial stages of an investigation. This is even worse than i believed to be the case, and would appear to allow open slather by the police, pork board, uncle tom cobley and all??? Who honestly believes that the teller at the local westpac/ kiwibank in an authority worshiping country like NZ is going to stand on principal when the constabulary come calling? WTF Secret hearings!!!

  6. Here’s a thing. NEVER self represent.
    Here’s another thing. NEVER self represent.
    ALWAYS engage a lawyer well versed in the relevant law who comes well recommended from a reliable third party and who is, preferably, well feared/respected within the cult that is lawyers and the police.
    “If the cops can do this to me, if they can do it to Nicky, they can do it to you.”
    Yes. Yes they can. And yes, they will.
    What we have to come to terms with is that while we live in a country which parades globally a faux politeness we locals must contemplate a bent little fiefdom run by criminals. And… and the problem with that, is that, that fiefdoms’ complex criminal machinations MUST be kept under cover, no matter what. I know this. It’s something of an interest of mine.
    You be careful @ MB.

    • Agree. Never self represent.

      One can have all the moral logic on ones side, but that does not necessarily align with legal logic.

      I have been through the system before (nothing like what Martyn is happening to Martyn).

      I engaged a lawyer, but saved time and money, by writing things up clearly and succinctly, and generally directed the case. But the lawyer was invaluable. He came up with case studies and precedents that I had no idea even existed, and strategies I would not have thought about. So I did 80% of the work, but the lawyers contribution was critical.

      Also it is hard at a hearing not to go off on a tangent, obviously because of one’s emotional attachment to the case. Having a lawyer there beside you makes a world of fucking difference.

      • Agreed .And @ Country boy is right too.Appoint a lawyer Bomber. The system is a minefield you need someone well versed in it’s intricacies.Or they will fuck you over.

    • But hard to find an ethical and good lawyer!

      Deborah Manning helped Ahmed Zaoui, when NZ and international security forces pulled the same stunts about ‘privacy’ and ‘security’ – code words are they will lie, and don’t want the lies in the public realm to be revealed later as what happened with Zaoui!

  7. Yes Martyn, unbelievable treatment by the cops must be driving you mad. So much good and so much bad, what are we to think of them? Injustice is a bitter pill to swallow, I wish you well on this one.

  8. This is deeply troubling and highlights why there can be no further extension of State power into our lives. This is an abuse of our liberty, and freedom from state intrusion.

    This cannot stand.

    Otherwise, who is next.

  9. I told you, Martyn, getting a ‘hearing’ in itself is one thing, getting justice will be yet another thing (before the HRRT).

  10. Oh, it IS a police state, Bomber; whose police state is it? There is the question for “journalists” to pursue… or, ask ChrisTrotter? He’s all into police states and not revolutions or taxing capital gain 😉

  11. It’s in the nature of the beast Martyn. They just can’t help themselves.

    We’re seeing these same tendencies in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre:

    The cops are using the opportunity to threaten and intimidate law abiding and licenced firearms owners.

    Our sources tell us there is a mass-spying operation on-going on private and law abiding citizens. Are there warrants for this?

    They are trying to stampede a weak and incompetent government into making rash and often unnecessary changes to the law, often based on made-up statistics. (i.e. They lie)

    They are pushing for stronger ‘hate speech’ laws that have no place in a liberal democracy. We don’t want to go down the road the UK has, where a comment on Facebook results in the ‘thought police’ knocking on your door or a stand-up comic makes a (possibly) bad taste joke and gets a criminal conviction.

    Note who are the handmaidens of fascist police actions. The main cheerleaders of despotic laws are this new breed of ‘woke’ activists that have infested the Greens.

    Come back Franz Kafka – all is forgiven!

    • andrew they have the support of all parties they are using a bipartisan approach so what the f..k are you talking about.
      And its about time our police focussed on the white power movement which is prevalent in some of our south island cities and towns they hide there cause there is too many brown people up north bloody cowards its time to sort this blight for once and all

  12. May I would suggest re-framing this to ask if in fact these is a police issue or one of legislation? Maybe there is a loophole that needs to be closed off?

  13. Going to be the same with the TARRANT ‘Go-Pro’
    No investigation is going to touch that data-set
    in open adjudication.

    Don’t lets wonder Why.

  14. New Zealand is not a democracy. Never has been. Owned and operated by the Rothschild boys..the bankers… Ask Countryboy, he knows (almost) better than anyone.

    • NZ is better than most, Helena. We the people are perfectly satisfied with good crumbs — where the neoliberals went wrong. We the people are cynics/realists. And we know the pricks above are twits who don’t know/have it better.

      Computer social media thrives on extremes. I note Left blogs roll on without reflexively kneeling before the only extreme that matters now. Habit, comfort, fear. Is the modern Left just about working a good comfort blanket. I assume so.

  15. “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the state can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the state to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the state.”

  16. The tribunal hearing is the latest to emerge from a cosy arrangement which had developed between banks and police, which has seen banks handing over customer information wholesale to police without any legal basis for doing so.

    The practice saw police exploit a section of the Privacy Act, which allows agencies holding people’s information to provide it without legal order if doing so would help “avoid prejudice to the maintenance of the law”.

    Banks were meant to ensure police provided “enough information to justify the disclosure”so they could make a decision.

    In practice, it was simply provided without cause and some banks used it as a red flag warning about customers and closed down credit opportunities.

    The privacy act provides no protection when it really counts.
    Due process was not followed here and the Police and the bank in question has run rough shot over the law and the Police should not innate any action without a warrant pure and simple.
    The National party Police observe two laws one for them and the other for everyone else.

  17. If you need funds for a good lawyer @ Martyn, I’m happy to oblige. Set up a ‘give-a-little’ page and I will contribute, even just to give them a run for their money.

  18. Just reading a book on plots against Hitler from Germans. The Gestapo was all over Leftists and Jews but it ignored the old conservative Right — the aristos and military chattered freely about overthrowing Nazidom and were the authors of all the significant attempts. A parallel to the SIS ignoring the threat of White Nationalists.

  19. This is so wrong in many ways what the Police are trying to accomplish against Martyn Bradbury with their arse covering exercise.

    On a less political level I can relate an incident as to how the cops do indeed breach peoples privacy. A person owed me money and had scarpered to somewhere, he had previously paid part of his debt by d/c into my bank account, for whatever reason his mother it turns out, had put a few hundred into my account by mistake, while I was deciding whether to consider it as a debt repayment by default, I got a call from a rural cop, a personal friend the mother had contacted, threatening me with all sorts of shit about to descend upon me, if I did not re-transfer the mistaken deposit! Cops as we know do use the electronic systems and contacts available to them, to engage in personal vendettas and other behaviours. And why would they not if Police culture and leadership, and authority loving reactionary kiwis, essentially gives them the ok.

    There are now a multiplicity of Police tactical and special units, they work in with the rest of the State Snoops at SIS and GCSB etc. Primacy in the Acts covering the NZSIS etc. is granted to protecting the identity of living operatives and snitches, and that is often what the cops and spies major concern is. Who tops on you would certainly surprise some people.

  20. Good luck.

    See if Deborah Manning will represent you!

    Feared by flawed NZ intelligence and police…

  21. Unbelievable!! Its as if NZ has turned into a stalinist state complete with ubiquitous surveillance and secret trials!!

    What next, gulags??

    What really pisses me of is tgst this is happening under a Labour-led govtz!!

    Meanwhile, except for 1 journo at Granny Herald, not one msinstream media has reported this story

    Not a single one

  22. When will the left in this country give up on the state? Have you not learnt it is not to be trusted?

    • Why give up on the state? I agree that the state fails to address reoccurring and preventable chaos regularly. How ever I still fail to see why we should give up on it. Yes the state does do shitty things but out side the gutter politics is a rat wanting to get in and tear you all up namely private capital and if you get rid of all the plumbing of legislation and all the regulation around that then you well be totally defenceless.

      So the first question is why should we all throw the baby out with the bath water because members of the capitalist class invest heavily and they don’t save that much. The reason the capitalist class don’t save is because you can go broke saving. But that’s not taught to everyone else. So the working class is taught to save and the best case scenario is everyone hands over there capital (and I’m interchanging money and capital here) but ever one gives there money to banks and unfortunately there isn’t a work around for that. So why on earth would you give government, that’s just financial hare kare at a very very low rate of return. And why is it a low rate of return? Well because capitalists own banks. And so when everyone else puts all of there money in banks that allows the capitalist to gain more capital mainly through loans at a higher rate, effectively you’re just burning cash at an accelerated rate.

  23. Solidarity, glad you got a human rights lawyer. Hopefully Geiringer, right. And hope you changed your bank, which one was it? The point you make about being; investigated whilst white wing racists ran around under the radar, is the crux of the matter and of course its terribly tragic the police policy of not ‘looking under that particular rock’ (unbelievable) allowed that guy to to what he did. You were obviously a rock they did look under. How very wronged you were, must be maddening and hope you get Justice.

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