The Independent Police Conduct Authority is investigating
whether police neglected their duties in their handling of a
complaint against spy agency the GCSB over alleged illegal
spying on New Zealanders.
The police two months ago completed an investigation into the
Government Communications Security Bureau's surveillance of
German internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his associate
Bram van der Kolk. The spying was done at the request of the
police ahead of their raid on the Dotcom mansion early last
In their findings, the police said the GCSB's spying was
illegal but as GCSB staff did not act with criminal intent,
no-one would be held accountable.
They also decided against further investigation of alleged
illegal spying on 85 other New Zealanders after reviewing the
Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Paul Neazor's
report on the matter.
Yesterday, Greens co-leader Russel Norman, who laid the
original complaint, confirmed the conduct authority had
decided to investigate a new complaint he laid in response to
the police findings.
One of three issues raised by Dr Norman was that leading
barrister Kristy McDonald, who was hired by the police to
review the investigation's findings, had a potential conflict
of interest because of her previous work for the police and
because she was acting for them in an ongoing court case
against Mr Dotcom.
Ms McDonald yesterday declined to comment on the issues
raised by Dr Norman "beyond confirming that I was instructed
to provide independent oversight to the investigation".
Dr Norman said the authority's decision to investigate the
matter was "very important to maintain confidence in the
impartiality and professionalism" of the police.
What police did
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman's "matters of concern"
about the police investigation into illegal spying by the
Prominent QC Kristy McDonald who was appointed by the police
to oversee the investigation had a potential conflict of
The police said they wouldn't bring charges because they
couldn't prove "criminal intent" by GCSB staff but the
relevant laws don't require criminal intent to be
The police relied on Inspector-General of Intelligence and
Security Paul Neazor's findings that the GCSB's potentially
illegal spying on 85 other New Zealanders was "arguably"
legal rather than investigating the cases themselves.
- Adam Bennett of the New Zealand Herald