Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Kim Dotcom: We need an Inquiry!

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    p.s. If Russel Norman wishes us to believe that his police complaint is about upholding the rule of law, and isn't a political stunt, he should stop publicly talking about it, and telling Police whom they should be interviewing. Given it has been admitted - and I believe accepted by Dr Norman - that the Prime Minister knew nothing about the use of GCSB resources at the time, it is difficult to see what purpose could be achieved by interviewing the Prime Minister. He doesn't know the name of the agents who intercepted Dotcom's calls, and if he does, it's only because someone more closely connected has told him.

    If the Police do think something fruitful will be gained from interviewing the Prime Minister, I'm sure they'll make an appointment, but Russel (or me for that matter!) telling them how to run their investigation helps no-one.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2971 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    The various Police sections and Inspector General basically investigating themselves is fraught with potential crediblity issues and confilicts of interest as far as some of us mere citizens see it. Mr Key should be first on the list for an interview, he has let the country down and more revelations may well yet come.

    One can imagine Ms Kitteridge seated in a leather armchair at GCSB HQ....
    “do have another snifter Bec’s, now is it really necessary to go there? Good, knew you’d see it. Jolly good then, job and finish”.

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    I'm not sure that politicians talking about the political context this mess occurred in is necessarily a bad thing, but I do agree that they should stop trying to frame their attacks as "above politics", as if there was some pure realm above politics where "real" issues are discussed dispassionately.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Given it has been admitted - and I believe accepted by Dr Norman - that the Prime Minister knew nothing about the use of GCSB resources at the time

    Your faith is touching, but the sea of lies surrounding this so far means I doubt that matter is accepted as proven fact. An inquiry might examine that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15769 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Green, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    If Russel Norman wishes us to believe that his police complaint is about upholding the rule of law, and isn't a political stunt, he should stop publicly talking about it

    Without public pressure, the police will just sweep this under the rug. Dr Norman is totally correct to keep this in the public eye.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2011 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    As said already on one of the innumerable threads about this, Campbell Live's story from five months ago is a useful pointer about which agencies and people might need to be formally interveiwed - especially the Police. Narrowing the scope to GCSB is a political decision.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15769 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Oh, look.

    BREAKING: PM admits Kim Dotcom was mentioned briefly in a GCSB briefing in Feb; but he wasn't told about surveillance till Sept

    There goes that 'fact'.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15769 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Without public pressure, the police will just sweep this under the rug. Dr Norman is totally correct to keep this in the public eye.

    Based on what? This is a high profile investigation which the police have begun. If we go back a couple of months and look at their last high profile investigation in the political sphere, John Banks, there the police did a pretty good job, informed the public of the results, and released materials which further embarassed Banks. Not much left under the rug.

    Even if they weren't being professional, there'd be plenty of people in the police who'd hate the fact that the GCSB can do shit and not be accountable for it, unlike the police who can be dragged over the coals when they screw up. A few cops will be loving the light being shone into GCSB processes and screw ups.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    Key's media release. Nothing more to see now, move on.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15769 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Not much left under the rug.

    Except a court process. You know, justice.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15769 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    BREAKING: PM admits Kim Dotcom was mentioned briefly in a GCSB briefing in Feb; but he wasn't told about surveillance till Sept

    There goes that 'fact'.

    And then you read the full context, which was that a photo was shown as one of 11 in a montage as part of a bigger presentation about general GCSB operations, and the operation was mentioned as an example of cooperation with the Police. Suddenly the scandal doesn't seem like quite such a scandal after all, especially when there was no written briefing provided to accompany the presentation.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3733 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    Not much left under the rug.

    Except a court process. You know, justice.

    With a statutory limitation period which had expired on the easily-proved charge, and a shittily-worded law that provided a defence through which one could drive a bulldozer to the other charge. The Police do, contrary to the beliefs of people in this forum, consider whether a defence (remember, reasonable doubt) is likely to succeed before mounting a prosecution.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3733 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    I'm more interested in this revelation:

    However, it has been revealed that on February 16 police told GCSB that the spying may have been illegal - but GCSB's legal department concluded there was no problem.

    ETA: I don't find it encouraging that they had a 3/58 rate of questionable legal accuracy, either.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3733 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    John Key should be first in line for a political grilling. David Shearer and Russel Norman should be jockeying for pole position in the race to drag key over the coals. Journalists should be first in line for keeping pressure on the police to investigate this thoroughly.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 1732 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    no written briefing provided

    Par for the course when dealing with a situation you want to progress but don't want to come back at you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1157 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Or in this one:

    In three - out of 58 cases - the GCSB cannot ''assure me that the legal position is totally clear,'' Key said.

    So, GCSB have provided assistance to police at least 58 times over the past 3 years. That's about 20 times a year. Which suggests either that police are routinely using GCSB to evade surveillance limits, or GCSB wiretaping is so widespread that they routinely detect evidence of serious crime in New Zealand. Either way, its something we need to be asking questions about, and scaling back.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1593 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    That’s about 20 times a year....Either way, its something we need to be asking questions about, and scaling back.

    I can't draw that conclusion, because their reasons for doing it are still opaque. No real point of comparison for how much spooky people do their thing, but 20 times a year sounds like an absolute pittance to me. You could easily need that many wiretaps in one operation, if there were 20 people involved.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8040 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    So, GCSB have provided assistance to police at least 58 times over the past 3 years.

    Thats a jump too far from what we’ve been told….

    GCSB have surveilled 58 targets…. possibly most of them of their own “National Security” gumption rather than police request?

    55 of them their legal ability to do so is not in question (according to them), and three they are investigating more closely to see if they fit the rules or not.

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 782 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    That is for the Polie - what about for the FBI?

    You only involve the Police when you want to make a song and dance about arresting someone.

    Not all survelliance would involve the police, not all survelliance activity would not be of local origin.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1157 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    Used to, as a child, work on a chicken farm, knows all there is to know about chickens - Ha......

    http://www.ratchicken.net/episode/episode-title-1-0

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1157 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    The Police do, contrary to the beliefs of people in this forum, consider whether a defence (remember, reasonable doubt) is likely to succeed before mounting a prosecution.

    I reckon their reputation would only be enhanced if a less-conflicted independent prosecution service handled that function.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15769 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to FletcherB,

    GCSB have surveilled 58 targets…. possibly most of them of their own “National Security” gumption rather than police request?

    As this statement makes clear, it is specifically cases where assisstance has been provided to police.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1593 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Thanks for the correction... more info is always good.

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 782 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    A likely outcome of a Commission of Inquiry, depending on the terms of reference, could be that it discovers under both National and Labour Govts there has been surveillance of NZ Residents/Citizens that have been illegal.

    It is not outside the realms of possibility both Labour and National there could have cause for considerable embarrassment.

    Another angle to consider is the possibility of spying by the United States on persons and organisation in NZ, with the NZ Police and GCSB only becoming involved when the United States wanted an arrest and extradition.

    With the turn of world events The United States and the NZ have a more co-operative (security) relationship. The United States may no longer feel the need to spy on “us” particularly after the way we behaved on the KDC Saga – the NZ govt going out of it’s way to essentially carelessly shaft itself.

    This following article has always been of interest:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10363782

    It would be interesting if the CIA originally kicked of the KDC surveillance and the case was later handed to the FBI to involve the NZ govt (Prime Minister Office, the Police and GCSB).

    Transparency is after all an illusion.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1157 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Sacha,

    a less-conflicted independent prosecution service handled that function

    I don't know why we don't have that? Has it ever been considered?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4221 posts Report Reply

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