Kafka’s Shadow: My hearing against NZ Police & secret trials


Right from the get go, it’s all on.

The Police have submitted secret evidence to the Human Rights Review Tribunal in pre-hearing papers, neither I nor my Lawyer Graeme Edgeler were aware of this, so before the hearing into not allowing the Police to hold a secret trial with secret evidence, Crown Law would like to brief the Tribunal with their secret Police evidence.

I know.

Somewhere Kafka is laughing.

The Tribunal are struggling with the Crown Law request.

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If they allow the Police to present their secret evidence at the hearing to decide whether or not the Police can hold a secret trial with secret evidence, then what the hell are all doing here?

The Tribunal decide that they will hear the argument about whether or not the Police can gain the powers of a medieval feudal lord before the Police can impact that hearing with their secret evidence. It is put aside and sealed.

This is the first chess move and it’s to knock the entire chess board off the table.

Crown Law have not come to frolic.


The Tribunal Adjudications Court room in Wellington is tidy formal with function, like Ikea justice. Beige, cream, soft colours. Nothing is black and white here, it’s a thousand shades of mahogany.

There are a smattering of media outlets covering the story and observers from other state agencies alongside me, my lawyer and the Crown law team.

The full Tribunal of 3 women and 1 man are dressed like people who are intimidatingly intelligent. I am grateful many times for having a lawyer like Graeme Edgeler, this is one of those times. I’m relieved to have him as a bulwark between me and their ever recording eyes. Words have enormous power here, misspeaking is a misstep in a minefield.

With my mouth, I don’t have that many limbs.

I keep wanting to shout ‘Habeas Corpus’.


Crown Law state their case.

They explain that as part of the deeply flawed prosecution of Investigative Journalist Nicky Hager, the Police exploited a loophole to force banks into handing over my bank records without a warrant or production order by falsely claiming I was involved in the hack of Cameron Slater.

They acknowledge that while they gained access to my bank records without so much as a search warrant or production order, they had plenty of evidence that totally could have gotten a search warrant or production order. They just didn’t bother getting a search warrant or production order, so they shouldn’t be found guilty of breaching my civil rights or privacy.


They would like to hold that case in a secret trial using secret evidence.

I know.

Kafka is weeping tears of mirth and rolling around on the floor laughing his arse off.

Apparently Western Civilisation as we know it will crumble if the Court won’t let them have their secret trial, so much so, they will actually strike the case and walk away from it altogether.

A rare legal threat.

Some of the Crown argument is relying on the Ahmed Zaoui case (FUNFACT: I helped on the Zaoui case, I know, what are the odds?), which isn’t too flash seeing as the Zaoui case is widely regarded as one of the worst national security cock ups in NZ legal history. Using Zaoui to justify secret trials is like using the Hindenburg to promote air safety.

The Tribunal read her submission. Only the Head of the Tribunal looks at her from time to time dispassionately. He asks politely for clarifications as he dismantles large chunks of the Crown Law argument by gently pointing out that much of their case is relying on  centimetre thin ice and they are a small elephant attempting to break dance.

What the State is trying is so uniquely out of line that the Tribunal have to remind the Crown that some of the case law they’re offering up as support of their argument, when in context, doesn’t support their cause at all.

Crown Law are no longer frolicking, they’re on the ground with a snapped achilles tendon.

Icepack and Podiatrist STAT.


New Zealand is pretty lucky to have Graeme Edgeler. I couldn’t have even gotten this case this far without him.

I’ve known him a couple of years, and he’s such decent and kind bloke with a terrifyingly brilliant legal mind. He’s one of the few whose call on a legal issue can silence Twitter which is a Herculean feat.

He has a passion for civil rights and legal rights and he reached out when this case hit the media.

He leaps to his feet as the Crown Law submission ends with an enthusiasm that is either Mohammed Ali level self confidence or the misplaced faith of a Labrador puppy.

Graeme points out that no other Higher Court in NZ would ever accept secret trials or secret evidence in the manner the Police are attempting to interpret because it would be an egregious injustice that kinda flies in the face of 800 years of jurisprudence.

The Tribunal sound surprised when pressing Graeme on how precedent setting this decision  would actually be. Surprised and a little nervous.

Graeme points out that even terrorists in the English High Court have the right to see evidence the State intends to use to prosecute them.

He turns slightly in my direction, “Mr Bradbury is clearly not a terrorist”.

He argues that if I had in fact had a search warrant or production order used on me, I’d be in a  stronger legal position to see the evidence, yet here I am, innocent of these charges with less rights?

Check on Kafka, I think he’s swallowed his tongue.


The case ends with a deferred judgment.

It is important that this precedent is not allowed. The State are trying this on when they don’t think anyone is looking. Secret trials and secret evidence require enormous checks and balances which the Human Rights Review Tribunal has been too underfunded to enable.

They are our civil rights watch dog with both its eyes poked out and wifi pass disabled.


The night before I dreamed of hot pokers and a star chamber.

I chewed my bagel while thinking of the thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dissidents before me who faced secret trials, like a DNA strand throughout history. How fortunate I was to have the protections and process to challenge a Police State that my activist ancestors did not.

That lens of legacy forces action, I couldn’t as a citizen in good conscience allow the State to create a secret trial precedence against my fellow human beings.

The weight of this 3 year battle felt heavy as I sat with a whisky on my porch listening to Tui’s chase each other up the slope of the Mt Eden bush.

My wee daughter asked me how my trial was as I tucked her into bed.

I said we did good today.

She hugged me tightly.

The case will continue over the next few months.




    • Yep, and they say that Guy Fawkes was set up too.
      Whatever ‘evidence’ the police acted on here, it was likely to have come from fewer persons than there are fingers on a hand – with a couple or more of the digits chopped off. That’s the crux.

  1. What struck me most @ Martyn was how the whole place contained of the same old sorts of faces you would have seen in the court system of the 1960s – as though they’re recently hopped off a P&O liner from the Empire. They looked like they were the sons and daughters as employees of the state apparatus I’d see around when I once worked for the old Supreme Court during the 70s – I imagine a few of them probably were.
    Oh how lil ole Nu Zull has progressed in terms of its diversity and representation of its population by those ‘powers that be’. (NOT)
    And by the way, the interior designer should really have gone for a beige shade on the walls. The greyish wall tone didn’t really match the carpet.

  2. Evocative writing indeed. Feels like being there. It is good for those that regularly live on the edge to have someone like your lawyer at certain times!

    Despite the authoritarian style legal precedent the Cops and State Forces would set if they can get away with this crap, a main motivator in my view remains their desperation to a)not reveal their snitches, and b)not drop John Key in it.

  3. I suspect Martyn that the people directing the police ,the crown and ultimately the tribunal reside in the USA as part of the five eyes and that your case will be adjudicated from America. Sorry but I don’t hold out much hope. But at least some awareness might come of it.
    Best of luck
    D J S

  4. yeah you’re right on the money there Tim. Our whole Justice system is a rotting corpse filled with Dickensian characters lost in the values system of the 19th century. For a bit of light reading I recommend the Evidence Act 2009. and The Summary Proceedings Act followed up by the Misuse of Drugs Act1975.
    In Qatar where they still chop people’s hands off for theft, possession of cannabis is a misdemeanor. Just by way of comparison. We are a joke internationally for our antiquated punitive,racist out of touch Justice System.
    Hang in there Bomber!

  5. Every day a large volume of secret information on individuals of interest to the state, much of it false information, passes between the various branches of the New Zealand government – the Police, SIS, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and then down through the administrative departments and, in some cases, out into the private sector.
    This information flow is not without purpose. It is used to block, obstruct and undermine individuals in either their professional or political lives. The scale of the problem in New Zealand is huge, and Martyn’s case is just the tip of the iceberg.
    It also has to be seen in context of the regime’s concerted move away from the transparency and rule-of-law principles. The New Zealand government wants to make administrative decisions about what its people see, hear, read and know and in practice it now has greater powers to suppress information and to conduct secret trials than it enjoyed in the heyday of the Official Secrets Act and the Public Safety Conservation Act. The colonial regime is now entering its final malignant phase, with the organs of the deep state and behind them the imperial powers calling the shots.
    But kia kaha, Aotearoa! Ka whawhai tonu matou ake ake ake.

  6. Beautifully written, Martyn.
    If our Judiciary is to deserve any respect at all, the Crown have to lose this one.
    Full support

  7. It sounds like it went moderately well, very pleased with that. You certainly cannot let this pass in the way they want it to or you would be permanently, irrefutably slightly defamed. You can’t go through life with a permanently redacted unknown footnote effectively stapled to your back like this, it is like character assassination you could never disprove. They say they will “apply to have the case struck out”? So, let me cheat at the chess or I’m packing up and going home? I don’t think so. That right there is a forfeit, a rout, and could never be seen as a win. If they can’t defend their actions they default, their argument is nonsense imho. All the best, DH

  8. The reason Kafka understood the issues of incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers was that he trained as a lawyer and was employed full-time by an insurance company.

    Good luck, Bomber, hopefully in this minor case (aka you are not a criminal nor a terrorist) they can put down the Kafka and shine a bit of sunshine on the police tactics which do not sound like they represent justice of any kind and should be culled by law going forward.

  9. This is all an outrage. By no stretch of the imagination can this be deemed open and transpsrent justice

    This is a distortion of justice

    Martyn, you are being pilloried Stand tall, mate, righreousness is on your side

    As for the police, this is scummy behaviour on their part

    And the media are complicit with theur silence A fucking AllBlack screwing someone in a public toilet seems more newsworthy


  10. ” It is important that this precedent is not allowed. The State are trying this on when they don’t think anyone is looking. Secret trials and secret evidence require enormous checks and balances which the Human Rights Review Tribunal has been too underfunded to enable ”

    Do we as a country take this seriously or not ?
    What good is the law if the sitting government , vested interests or the police can run rough shot over it when it suits their agenda.
    The Americans would never sanction the type of interference that happened here with our internal affairs.
    Its not surprising that with what has happened here and with Hagar signals that anybody’s rights can be abused so easily and with the main conspirators i am sure are directing this from a safe and secure place.
    If we can’t have confidence that laws will not be upheld then what does that say about our country ?
    This recent action and what is happening in Bombers case is politically motivated just as the whole Kim.Com fiasco was played out and eventually made public

    The fact that the human rights tribunal does not have the resources to deal with these transgressions of the state against individuals shows that we pay lip service to another myth that this country values human rights and the right to freedom of expression and uncovering corrupt practices and exposing those involved without fear of sanction.

    Bomber well done yesterday and don’t back down you have rights and deserve the truth.

  11. Fight your little vanity battle, others have been there before and got nowhere, maybe you still need to learn your humble lesson. It is a waste of time, if you want change you join the revolution, perhaps take up arms, but hey, that is not allowed, oh, better shut up then.

    It is quite ridiculous how you portray your personal battle here, yet deny many others to comment on your blog, for whatever bizarre reasons. You get NO sympathy from me, sorry, M. Bradbury, good luck.

    • Marc, for someone who has made considerable use of Martyn’s hosting of this Blog, so you can vent your views, your lack of consideration is simply apalling.

      Whatever anger is boiling up inside you should not be directed at another victim of State abuse of power. Because in doing so, you make yourself a part (albeit minor) of that abuse.

  12. [Declined for publication. Repetitive, and already published elsewhere. Please do not ‘spam’ discussions with the same material/links.

    If I have to keep removing repetitive material such as duplicate links, your posting privileges will be suspended for a week. – Scarletmod]

  13. Martyn, if anyone is in a moral position to stand up to the bully-boy tactics of the State, it is you. Graeme Edgeler is 100% correct that this is a precedent setting case.

    The tragedy is not just that the full force of the State has been ranged against you; nor that this is an abomination in the first place – but that the mass media has reported bugger all about what you are facing.

    The (alleged) Christchurch terrorist’s “right” to send/receive letters has had more coverage.

    As mentioned above, a rugby player having it off in a public toilet gets more media reporting.

    The msm goes nuts over Baby Neve.

    But when it comes to one of the most important court cases for possibly a century – it’s like a news blackout has been mandated from the Ninth Floor.

    Which is a tragedy and a crisis that our media is not over this like flies on dog shit. It shows how neutered the media has become. How irrelevant. How servile.

    Thank you, Martyn, for your courage and calm dignity.

    Thank you, Graeme Edgeler, for standing with Martyn as his champion.

    And the next time one of the msm’s leading lights screams “Protect the Freedom of the Press!” – I will respond;

    “Why? Where were you when we needed you?”

  14. Frank:” Graeme Edgeler is 100% correct that this is a precedent setting case.” Absolutely. It is important for all of us, although not all of us may see this.

    If the MSM feel compelled to silence on this case, perhaps it is not altogether surprising when we see columnists like Chris Trotter remembering ex-PM John Key “fondly.” Many out in the everyday world will never feel that way.

    NZ Police accessing a bank account without correct authorisation may have just been sloppy policing, and they need to answer for that; the hows and whys are too important to ignore, especially if they too emanated from within the State.

    Readers of ‘Dirty Politics, or any of Hager’s books, are well acquainted with the apparatus of the State functioning in an immoral or inhumane way.

    This, alas, may now be an accepted norm, but the bottom line is that the Rule of Law must still prevail, and unless the security of the State is shown to be at risk, then the Rule of Law should not be jeopardised for feelings of fear or fondness.

    If the processes involved in the injustice inflicted upon Martyn Bradbury threaten the security of the State, then the onus is on the State to show this.

    Everything happening here derives directly from Hager’s revelations of the dirty politics swilling from the Beehive; Hager was labelled a conspiracy theorist by by the ex-Pm et al, but time has shown him to be no theorist, and time will out the truth here.

    Nothing will ultimately stymie this – not even the echoes of the incandescent rage which may have brought a nightmare element into Bradbury’s or anyone else’s lives. I really really do not like cliches, but truth is the daughter of time, so best to do things properly now.

  15. Marc – MB is not fighting a little vanity battle as you put it. He quite rightly highlights a very frightening issue (secret trials) which should not be permitted in this country. By attacking him you contradict yourself in that you obviously support the very system that would prevent you from exercising your freedom of expression although you do so at a very base and unintelligent level. Then when someone challenges you as Frank Macskasy has you get abusive. Read Snow White’s masterful comment – especially her last paragraph and you might get some much needed insight.

    In the meantime, bark at your own reflection Marc and you will soon lose your voice.

  16. Marc – I am an idiot too. I broke my own rule, and I clicked on your youtube link; if your purpose was to pop people like me onto a GCSB watch list, then you are a waste of taxpayer resources and should perhaps therefore consider running for Parliament.

  17. Marc
    You probably don’t want my opinion, but you obviously pay attention to what’s gong on in the world and have some worthwhile thoughts on things. But you can share these thoughts and ideas, and disagree with other commenters without having to slag them off. If you constantly get up people’s noses for no good reason your ideas get lost in the emotion of a slagging match. And your comments are dismissed even if there was stuff in there worth thinking about. People enjoy a contest of reasoned argument and can like their opponent for engaging if it’s done with respect and it is the only atmosphere that allows for an improved understanding by everyone.
    Cheers D J S

  18. All the best to you Martyn and we hope with all our heart that this case is thrown out and you are awarded damages for compensation.

    This is an attack not just on you but on our personal liberty and privacy. If the State gets away with harassing you, then we are another step closer to an Orwellian society.

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