My trial against the NZ Police starts this month in Wellington – an invitation to NZ media

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In 2014, the NZ Police secretly included me in their failed prosecution against Nicky Hager. Somehow, Cameron Slater managed to convince a friendly Police force that a shadowy conspiracy was involved in the hack against him that was the content for Hager’s ground breaking ‘Dirty Politics‘ book.

The Police illegally gained access to Hager’s bank records and illegally searched his house. At the time, I argued that the NZ Police could use their misuse of power to damage the credit ratings of activists they didn’t like, little did I appreciate how that would later encompass me.

I only realised that I had been caught up in this at the end of 2016 after being denied bank loans. The financial pressure of keeping the blog afloat and this sense that there were invisible powers aligning against me led to some very dark moments of depression.

I asked the Banking Ombudsman for a list of any third party who had accessed my account because I was so suspicious over the way I had been declined the bank loan. To my shock I discovered the Police had included me in 2014 in their illegal prosecution of Nicky Hager and had told every bank and lending institute in NZ that I was accused of computer fraud. Without any search warrant or any genuine reason, the NZ Police gained my banking records and shredded my credit rating at the same time.

I immediately lodged a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner who found that the Police had not only breached my privacy rights but argued that they had breached my civil rights due to this being an unreasonable search. 

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The Human Rights Review Tribunal, the only court with the power to hold the Police to account, finally agreed to hearing my case two years after I started the process and 5 years after the Police had gotten away with it, but there was a shocking sting in the tail of that decision, the Police demanded to hold the trial in secret while using secret evidence against me to stop me from finding out why they were spying on me and who spied on me. 

In 2014, I was deeply involved with the MANA Party and talking to Kim Dotcom re his Internet Party. I was also leading the fight against the SIS and GCSB from obtaining mass surveillance powers. That there was surveillance on me and that the Police gained my banking records without any search warrant made me furious, but that the Police were now trying to hold the trial in secret simply shocked me beyond articulation.

Whatever you think of my politics, whether you vote National, Labour, NZ First, ACT or Green – we can all agree that to allow the Police to hold a secret trial using secret evidence in a court battle over their misuse of power is a precedent that simply must not be allowed to happen.

This legal battle is a unique one because the Police have never before been able to gain secret trails in a Human Rights Review case. On Wednesday 14th August, I am in Wellington with my lawyer Graeme Edgeler to argue against the State gaining the power to use secret trials.

Please note, we aren’t even at the stage where my case against the Police taking my bank records without a search warrant will actually be heard, we are debating the Police’s right to hold the trial in secret in the first place.

I appreciate that I’m deeply critical of many mainstream media journalists and that this legal battle to date has not been covered much outside of the NZ Herald or columns by  Chris Trotter and Oscar Kightley, but this legal case matters and it is unique.

If the NZ Police are able to create a precedence for secret trials using secret evidence, that impacts every single one of us as citizens in this democracy and so I invite all mainstream media to cover this exceptional trial on Wednesday 14th in Wellington. The only reason the Police are trying this on is because they don’t think anyone is paying attention.

My lawyer, Graeme Edgeler and I will be available for comment after the hearing.

The personal toll this has taken to get this case this far has been greater than I could have ever imagined, but if we individually refuse to stand against the abuse of power by the State, then we all collectively suffer.

 

30 COMMENTS

  1. First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  2. I wish you well Bomber. The Police have no right to get away with this shit!
    Bu this is NZ and as you well know the Police can do no wrong and are scrupulously honest in their dealings with the public. If they say you are are involved in computer fraud then it must be so. That’s how it is and always has been in NZ.

  3. Wish you all the best. If they get away with it this time, they’ll surely feel vindicated and empowered. Once this sort of precedence is successfully tested in court, they know most lawyers won’t challenge it again in the future. This is sounding frighteningly Orwellian.

  4. Good luck. The stress toll is huge – so hang in there.

    Chances are the police are covering for the SIS, who have an illustrious record of cock-ups in NZ. The usual cliches about national security, operational confidentiality etc etc will come forth. And at that particular time in recent history, Whale Oil was a personage thought to have clout – the dynamics of soiled politics, firmly entrenched in the Nats could be comical now, had they not been so dreadfully damaging for you and others.

    A history of SIS cock-ups in NZ can be found in Chap 14: ‘Meanwhile, inside then Security Intelligence Service,’ “Other People’s Wars” Nicky Hager 2011. Reading this, I can see how the the ChCh mosque murderer had such a clear run.

    Don’t know much about GCSB etc , but even just reading “Dirty Politics,” the networks of grubby snigggering bullies were breathtakingly bad back then, so well done on shining light onto an exceedingly murky chapter in NZ politics. Kia kaha

  5. Well good luck, you’ll need it, as you may be misguided with your hope for ‘justice’ in this country.

  6. Good luck martin. The police are on dangerous ground here and know it. You should sue for compensation.

    • He’ll get compensation, Stan, but more often than not, no sum of money can ever compensate from being subjected to this sort of horrendously stressful experience.

      I just went online looking for a remembered particular quote of John Key at the “Dirty Politics” explosion, but found instead John Roughan saying Key told him that he knew who Rawshark was, and am wondering why Key didn’t tell the police, because had he done so, both Bradbury and Hager, need not have been subjected to draconian invasions of privacy; or did Key give the police the wrong name, or did the police ask Key.

      There was near hysteria when “Dirty Politics” was published, and some MSM did ask searching questions, but Key emerged relatively unscathed, because certain sorts of people do.

      • I remember that Key said that, why didnt he tell the police the name, or were they trying to pin someone for it. Key said he didnt have any power to call a snap election, that wasnt questioned by the media.

  7. It would be a breakthrough if this appalling case of intimidation, corruption of the law and personal rights is taken up by the MSM 

    If you care about journalism and the freedom to express an opinion in New Zealand with out fear of what will happen if you do then this story needs exposure.

    Or have we really turned that corner and no longer value or encourage the freedom of investigative journalism  and commentators like Bradbury and Hagar to do their job without the fear of harassment ?

    Bomber you don’t deserve what is happening here , no one with integrity does when holding the establishment to account or supporting a movement that is trying too.

    You have our support.

  8. I am still hopeful that you wil get the right result Martin. If not now during the politics of kindness then when? This is the most terrible legislation and should be repealed. Secret trial and secret evidence should be regarded as two examples of an oxymoron. They have no place in a justice system.

  9. I MB, I don’t know how you feel but I am imagining what it would be like for me, I would be a mess. I am hoping words of encouragement may be of benefit. What has happened to you regardless of political views is appallingly. There is that slightly smugness on the Police part that they can get away with it. I would not think less of you if you gave up, but by golly I hope you stick at it. I hope the result is in your favour I seem perplexed that it wouldn’t. Justice or NOT you can be proud that they bullied and thought you would crumble. Argh. You got this. You have to.

  10. Like everyone else Martyn I wish you all the best with this and I hope it works out for you. It is a sad day when the only phrase I can use is “I hope it works out for you” rather than “I am sure it will work out for you” because my faith in the system has been sorely tested witnessing and reading about the injustices that many, many New Zealanders have had to experience at the hands of the Police and the system within which they operate.

    It is dreadful that the Police can ask for a secret trial. By doing so they try and suggest, or rather want all of New Zealand to believe, that there is something really sinister going on here involving you which the public should not be made aware of. They have ridden rough-shod over your rights as they did with Nicky Hager and the concepts of freedom of conscience and expression do not exist in their parlance or thought processes. What does exist though is a desire by the Police to concoct a scenario to distract the public from the truth which is that they had no basis nor right to do what they did to you.

    As I have often said, the Police position on anything is – “We are right and even if we are wrong we are right” and to that end the individuals who commenced all of this will never be held to account.

    I know you will fight the good fight on this Martyn and in doing so you fight for all of us too and for those people still seeking justice in the country where injustices have become the norm.

  11. Martyn I hope you pulverize them. Get them for their disgusting victim blaming fishing expedition underhanded bullying, and get them good. The presumption of open justice certainly should not be set aside when the perpetrators are the agents of state supposed to be responsible for justice being done and being seen to be done. To give the privileged special treatment when we should hold them to the highest of standards would be absurd in the extreme. It would be paradoxical, ridiculous. Those with privileges and who miserably misuse them should bear the full brunt of public displeasure, unfiltered. You deserve vengeance and your share of justice in full measure and for all time.

  12. It is dirty, Kafkaesque, secret squirrel shit alright. Agree that the Cops will likely be covering other arses big time, from SirKey to the security services. Lets not forget we had a BLOODY PRIME MINISTER having late night chats with Whale, and his office giving him priority releases of OIAs pertaining to the NZSIS slandering a leader of the Opposition.

    Kind of serious one might think? They are certainly serious about maintaining the cover up that is for sure.
    All the best Martyn!!

    • Tiger M – I was going to comment, but didn’t, and now am, that the chatting from Key to Whale Oil warmed the little cockles of my heart as there was as much, or more, communication going on there than between many pollies and their lawful wedded spouses – or others’ lawful wedded spice.

      But always remember – that Key didn’t have his hat on – and Key hatless = Key thinking that the insides of our heads are as naked as the outside of his was – and Parliament (if I recall correctly, who knows) accepted that a bare head is carte blanche for anything, including (who knows) indulging in fetishes for hair pulling.

      Bit by bit the murk from that grubby govt is oozing out, and history will record them as dirty as it comes.
      Unfortunately. Unfortunately because besmirching others was what they did best – and boasted about it, and reveled in it. None of them should be let back in – they belong where they are now – outside.

  13. Is this open to the public? It seems like something that the public should be seen to be there and observing.

  14. WTF! What a crazy crazy thing… A very sad state of affairs. Cannot believe this is happening in a 21st century New Zealand. Good luck Martyn.

  15. What have the police got to hide?
    Specific evidence may be covert, but a complete trial?
    You are often idiotic but you do have my best wishes.

    I wish you and Graeme Edgeler the big win.

    Talk about “police state”, this is Putin Chinese style justice.

    Unfortunately certain politicians think it a good thing.

  16. What are the police trying to hide? Revisiting the Hager fiasco, and more?

    They are embarrassed about their own past incompetence and do not want to revisit it. It might reveal even more incompetence.

    You have been idiotic, and probably will do so again. That is no justification for in camera judicial proceedings. That belongs to totalitarian regimes. David Seymour and the National Party haven’t quite got us to that point

    Martyn , I wish you, and Graeme the best.

  17. Good luck, you are very brave.

    The venerable used to be able to win against power interests, but sadly as justice is bought in NZ and democracy repurposed, there are less and less wins for poorer folks, and less cases bought by brave and tenacious people, like yourself. Even when winning the power will use the court appeal systems against those poorer.

    Modern fights for freedom seem to be on the decline, as the costs are too high in every aspect and designed to wear people down and make them afraid, very costly or to the brink of fatigue and suicide.

    Sincerely know, you are helping society in NZ be a better place for all, or at least illuminating this shift in justice.

  18. When you know an injustice has occurred you are not only fighting for yourself but for the whole of NZ, so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

    May the truth prevail…

  19. I hope the prosecutor isn’t crown law solicitor general Jagose because at the moment she has a serious complaint about her with the attorney general. Jagose is aware that two chch based crown lawyers have been caught out making false statements to a court and to date has failed to acknowledge it or acknowledge the OIA requests for the documents her staff have stated as being disclosed. She has copies of documents from the police and Ombudsman stating these documents have never existed.

  20. Why isn’t this case being highlighted in the news what is being hidden who has something to hide and what will happen to those who have thwarted the law possibly a slap on the wrist i hope not as this will make another mockery of our laws and our police who we expect to uphold the law.

  21. Good luck Martyn.
    Deep down I get the feeling there was a political influence in the NZ Police actions even as far back as 2014. And that political influence is probably linked to the government of the time. The minister of Police at the time which was probably Judith Collins didn’t have a problem, quoting John Key, and was comfortable with the illegal spying and access to your personal records.
    If the previous National government were doing that on Nicky Hager and you then who else in NZ had their private details accessed by the NZ Police without a search warrant?
    It actually brings to light a major concern and that is if we cannot trust the NZ Police let alone a politician then who can we really trust in this country? Now I know there is no such thing as an honest politician but really it’s time we knew who we could trust.

  22. No surprises considering police cosy relationship to National party elites.
    I do have a question, why can’t we be immediately informed if third parties gain access to our bank accounts.
    Its 2019 not 1970, we should not have to apply via a Government department.
    How much did it cost to get a ombudsman request?

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