Astonishing abuse of legal and police power


This abuse of legal and police power is jaw dropping…

High-profile Crown prosecutor concealed meeting with secret witness in murder case

A top Crown Solicitor tried to hide the fact he met a secret jailhouse witness who was offering evidence about an unsolved murder.

Ben Vanderkolk, Palmerston North’s Crown Solicitor, requested the police officer accompanying him not to record that he and another Crown prosecutor, Debbie Davies, were at the 80-minute prison meeting in February 2018.

Vanderkolk’s presence was kept hidden for five years, despite numerous attempts by the court and lawyers to ensure all information about the jailhouse informant had been disclosed.

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It was only revealed last month when the police officer’s original notebook was finally released.

…Let me get this completely straight.

Senior Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk admitted to concealing crucial evidence in a murder trial which was his presence during a jail house snitch deal  that gained a massive discount in sentence in return for evidence that sent someone to prison!

What. The. Fuck???

Why was this hidden?

Why was a Senior Crown prosecutor present during a jailhouse snitch deal?

Why? Why? Why?

The events were revealed last week at a High Court hearing, where lawyers for two men charged with the 2016 murder of Palmiro MacDonald were seeking $250,000 costs for numerous alleged breaches of legal requirements by police and Vanderkolk.

The two men, Chea Brattle-Hemara and Joseph Johnson, eventually had the charges against them dismissed.

A third man accused of the murder, William Hines, had charges against him withdrawn before his trial.

The murder remains unsolved.

This is an extraordinary abuse of legal power.

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  1. So is this the same police force which stood by and watched or sat in cars and watched while biological women were intimidated and jeered at and jostled and struck by transgender activists in Auckland when all they wanted was the chance to stand to stand up and speak? These police?

  2. “Why? Why? Why?”
    Because AO/NZ’s dirty,dirty,dirty. AO/NZ’s managed by sadistic, narcissistic sociopaths. That’s also why.

  3. There are more bent coppers than a number of people might imagine. In my personal experience too. From teen years as a Queen St late night V8 driver, to violent union pickets, busting up peaceful protests to now, I have seen how they rely on the ”three Bs”–Bravado, Breaking Bones and Bullying (and Batons, Taser and Pepper of course).

    NZ Police Culture is rotten, racist and macho. They are still pursuing pardoned Arthur Thomas for crissakes! They fitted up Scott Watson and hundreds of others that the public can get some handle on, and statistically probably thousands in Jail over the years should never have been there.

    An ex cop I know was finally retired early after his misdemeanours piled up. He turned off the video in an interview and threatened the suspect with a beating if he did not cough, but the audio was not turned off and it went to IPCA. Last year he leant on a prosecutor to let his business partners son off an assault charge, again before the IPCA. The cops only let him go because senior officers are not meant to run commercial enterprises while a sworn officer! rather than the substantive matter.

    Wake up NZers–the cops are not your friends.

  4. Corruption in the judicial system is extremely corrosive.
    Any lawyer abusing the rules should be struck off.

  5. Well done Bomber for covering this.

    Another great kiwi myth demolished just about every week and that’s our nearly corruption free status alongside comparative countries.

    Pike river , forrestery slash and highly paid government consultants are some of the more recent examples.

    Even ministers like Nash can abuse the cabinet manual but get to stay a minister.

    The rot really set in after the last National , ACT , United , Maori party government.

    Joyce infamously stated it only has to be almost legal to get done after another high profile example of Keys government bending the rule of law to breaking point.

    Closer scrutiny would show the extent of corrupt practice’s right across the board.

    The amount of times the OIA is denied sharing information sought is terrifying.

    • Not after, during. Key played fast and loose with the law and he changed out the British system we had in place for something that could be much more easily tampered with. Its been going on ever since and has been on steroids since Labour got in particularly the last 3 years.

      So many examples particularly in police but also in terms of the law and Ministers even lying about or twisting legal situations to give weight to what they are doing. Wira Gardiner (RIP), Nanaia, 3 Waters sneak ‘admin’ provisions (legal in terms of passing Acts of Parliament), potentially undue influence over even the AG’s Office and Crown Law and probably many other cases that passed by unnoticed or just seem a little odd to the lay person.

  6. More Labour secrecy.
    In July 2022, the then-Minister for Public Services, Chris Hipkins, promised that he would reduce the number of secrecy clauses in new legislation. Today the government has introduced not one, but two bills that strengthen secrecy at the expense of transparency.

    The first is the Resale Right for Visual Artists Bill. The bill establishes a resale right for visual artists, and empowers the government to appoint a collection agency to manage it. The collection agency performs statutory functions, which will be monitored by a government ministry. However, if that Ministry doesn’t do its job, or paints a pretty picture because otherwise they would be admitting failure, there will be no way of checking independently whether those functions are performed properly, because it won’t be subject to the OIA.

    The second is the Integrity Sport and Recreation Bill, which revamps the law around doping in sports. This creates a new agency to replace Drug Free Sport New Zealand, and that agency will be subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. However, the bill includes a secrecy clause requiring it to keep information related to complaints confidential except under certain specified circumstances. There’s a clear public interest in this agency being able to receive information on a confidential basis. And that public interest is already met by s9(2)(ba) of the OIA. Meaning that this clause is a perfect example of the unnecessary secrecy Hipkins falsely promised to get rid of.

    So despite a promise from the now Prime Minister, Labour’s thirst for secrecy seems unquenched. I’ll be submitting against both these bills, urging they be dumped unless the public’s right to freedom of information is protected. You should too.

  7. we have deeply corrupt judicial system and incompetent police…at that’s it
    …don’t be surprised when people don’t trust either

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