John Key. Photo Reuters
Prime Minister John Key was yesterday again on the back
foot in Parliament over questions about how much he knew about
the involvement of the GCSB and other intelligence agencies he
is responsible for in the Kim Dotcom debacle.
For a second day Opposition leaders questioned Mr Key's
oversight of the GCSB, which spied illegally on Dotcom.
Responding to Labour leader David Shearer, Mr Key said he was
unsure whether domestic spying agency the SIS, for which he
is also responsible, or the National Assessments Bureau, were
involved in the Dotcom case.
He did not know whether the Department of the Prime Minister
and Cabinet (DPMC) was involved.
The DPMC includes intelligence gathering and co-ordination
bodies the National Assessments Bureau, the Intelligence
Co-ordination Group and the Security & Risk Group. All
three organisations could be expected to have been aware of
But Mr Key did not know whether any of the agencies had
provided him with any advice about the Dotcom case before the
GCSB informed him of its unlawful spying on September 24.
Mr Key appeared to become confused when asked by NZ First
leader Winston Peters when his chief of staff was first told
of the Ministerial Certificate issued in Mr Key's absence
last month by his deputy Bill English.
Mr English issued the certificate to prevent details of the
GCSB's involvement in the Dotcom case emerging in court.
"I do not exactly know, but to the best of my knowledge it
was on Monday the 17th when I knew," Mr Key said. He later
returned to the House and made a personal statement saying it
was only this week that he learned of the document.
Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson last night said Mr Key
"looked incredibly uncertain" in answering questions about
the involvement in the Dotcom case by organisations of which
he had oversight.