The Green Party has asked police to investigate the
GCSB's illegal spying on Kim Dotcom, saying the agency appears
to have broken the same law under which Prime Minister John Key
laid his "Teapot Tapes" complaint.
Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said yesterday's
report into the incident by Inspector General of Intelligence
and Security Paul Neazor clearly concluded that the
Government Communications Security Bureau's (GCSB) actions in
the case were illegal. Mr Key has also publicly acknowledged
"The GCSB appears to have breached s216(B) of the Crimes Act,
which bans interception of private communications," Dr Norman
"That is the same law that John Key claimed Bradley Ambrose
had breached in the so-called 'teapot tapes' affair."
Mr Key's conversation with Act's Epsom candidate John Banks
in a well-publicised meeting at a Newmarket cafe during last
year's election campaign was taped by a member of the media.
"Mr Key kicked up an almighty fuss and had police raid media
outlets to make sure the tape wasn't released," said Dr
"If Prime Minister Key really feels so strongly about a
person's right to privacy, then he should back my call for
the police to investigate the illegal surveilling of New
Zealand residents by a government spy agency."
Mr Dotcom yesterday accepted Mr Key's apology for the GCSB's
unlawful spying but added his voice to calls for an
independent inquiry into the fiasco.
That call came during a snap debate in Parliament held after
the release of a report into the affair which the Opposition
labelled a "whitewash" as it laid much of the blame on police
rather than the minister responsible, Mr Key himself.
Mr Key offered the apology to Mr Dotcom and the public
following Justice Neazor's report on the GCSB's illegal
He was "appalled" at the agency, saying it had "failed at the
most basic of hurdles" by not properly checking it was
entitled to spy on Mr Dotcom.
"Of course I apologise to Mr Dotcom, and I apologise to New
Mr Dotcom, who rarely talks directly to the media, took to
Twitter saying: "I accept your apology.
"Show your sincerity by supporting a full, transparent &
independent inquiry into the entire Mega case."
One of Mr Dotcom's legal team, Greg Towers, was unwilling to
say whether there was any possibility Mr Dotcom would sue
over the illegal spying which took place between December 16
and the January 20 raid on his Auckland mansion.
"There may be, there may not be but that's not really the
point at the moment ... the fact that the Prime Minister has
come out and given an apology means a lot."
But Mr Key's apology was not enough for opposition parties,
which were unanimous in calling for a more detailed
independent inquiry into the matter.
Labour leader David Shearer said Justice Neazor's report was
"a whitewash because it ignores the complete failure of
democratic oversight by Prime Minister John Key".
Former High Court Judge and Solicitor-General Justice Neazor
said the GCSB had acted unlawfully because it relied on
incorrect information from the police that Mr Dotcom and his
associate Bram van der Kolk were not full permanent
He said the error stemmed from changes to immigration and
GCSB legislation which took effect within days of Mr Dotcom
entering New Zealand in November 2010.
The police and GCSB failed to realise Mr Dotcom and Mr van
der Kolk were full permanent residents until earlier this
month, despite the fact that - as confirmed by an Immigration
New Zealand spokeswoman yesterday - police were provided with
a copy of Mr Dotcom's immigration file, including his
residence status, on December 22 last year.
The GCSB will now review past cases back to 2009 to ensure it
made no similar errors.
But leaving aside the "confusion" over Mr Dotcom's residency
status, Justice Neazor said the request from police for GCSB
help was "proper" as was the bureau's action in monitoring Mr
Dotcom and his associates.
But Mr Key was far more critical of the GCSB, saying the
bureau had let itself down very badly. Nevertheless, it was a
matter of "mistake and human error, not one of a great
Mr Key said none of the information collected by the bureau
had been forwarded to US authorities, as feared by Mr Dotcom,
and the information would not be admissible in court as it
was illegally obtained.
- Adam Bennett of The New Zealand Herald