A former senior Northland police officer is among government
officials ordered by the High Court to reveal details of
secret surveillance on internet tycoon Kim Dotcom.
Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett, New Zealand police
liaison officer in Washington, has been ordered to swear an
affidavit, setting out full details of the monitoring he was
a party to from the FBI's Multi Agency Command Centre.
Mr Pannett was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of
Merit in 2009 before he was appointed manager of intelligence
operations at the National Intelligence Centre based at
Police National Headquarters in Wellington.
Chief High Court Judge Helen Winklemann last week ordered,
among others, police and the Government Communications
Security Bureau (GCSB) to reveal details of their secret
surveillance on Mr Dotcom's Coatesville mansion that was
raided earlier this year.
The latest ruling is another milestone in Mr Dotcom's bid to
challenge extradition to the US on copyright-infringement
His lawyers have already proved the GCSB's surveillance of
the mogul was illegal, and search warrants for the raid on Mr
Dotcom's mansion on January 20 were invalid.
The foreign spy agency must disclose anything it shared with
other intelligence agencies in the "Five Eyes" intelligence
alliance - made up of the US, Australia, UK and Canada.
And they must reveal if they carried out surveillance on Mr
Dotcom's wife, Mona, and his co-accused, Bram van der Kolk.
Mr Pannett has been ordered to file an affidavit on whether
he watched a "live feed" of the raid on Mr Dotcom's mansion
and if he did, he should provide details to identify the
source of the feed, the locations and events being filmed,
who else was present at the time of monitoring, and the time
he watched it.
Lawyers for the Attorney-General have argued the information
sought from Mr Pannett was too broad.
It required disclosure that would create serious difficulty
for police in terms of their relations with the FBI.
However, Justice Winklemann ruled it would be sufficient if
he confirmed whether he viewed a live feed of any aspect of
the New Zealand termination operations, and if so, provided
details that enabled identification of that feed.
The judge's orders followed Mr Pannett's report in Ten One
New Zealand, an online police magazine, having monitored
termination activities around the world in connection with
In 1987, he started with the Criminal Investigation Branch in
Whangarei and in 1998 he established the Northland District
His team was credited with a significant number of successful
operations targeting methamphetamine and cannabis, gangs and
He was the only New Zealand officer selected to join the
police team in Beijing for the Olympic Games in 2008.
- Imran Ali of The Northern Advocate