Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Doing over the witness

328 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 8 9 10 11 12 14 Newer→ Last

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Tuesday afternoon's Panel on RNZ with Dita de Boni and Penny Ashton was a blow for sanity - Jim Mora seemed to be on the back foot a bit as they roundly lambasted the Hager house raid and much, much more - I hope they are allowed back!

    I also note half the letters to the Editor in The Press today are about the atrocious 'interview styles' of the tri-hard-umvirate of Wilson, Ferguson and Espiner ...
    - I'm guessing if the RNZ Head's job was to get rid of their older listeners, he is doing well.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    scatterbrained reaction...

    I’m entirely willing to have my ignorance dispelled

    I have carefully dis-spelled your 'my ignorance'
    and I get the following:
    - Corny enigma
    - Coring enyma
    - Mincey groan

    and of course
    - Come in angry
    - My nice organ!

    play on...

    :- )

    </a horse + goats = anagrams>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking, in reply to nzlemming,

    It was the police who used the word, just so you know, so we can probably assume it to be technically correct.

    We haven't actually heard from the cops. We've heard Hager say they said he is a witness, and I accept that they used that word, but it seems to me people are leaping from that to take the view he is just a witness.

    His role in all this is much more active than that of witness and it is either sloppy or tendentious to put quite so much emphasis on that term.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C,

    Could someone explain to me just what protection being a journalist gives you? I understand there is something around not revealing your sources.

    Does this simply mean that you cannot be forced to TELL the police/courts, or is it more than that? For example can the police get a warrant and raid your house and take your laptop (say) and go hunting for the details, or does the protection extend to that too (I guess that would mean that if they found it they cannot use it).

    My interest is not specific to the Hager case, its simply that the Hager case made me realise I never knew what journalistic protection actually meant.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to nzlemming,

    I’m neither left wing nor right, but I confess I don’t see Slater as a journalist, regardless of what the judge said. If 5 policemen spent 10 hours in his home, taking everything they could find, yes I would call it excessive unless their warrant cited as grounds that there was a reasonable suspicion that he had hacked the information himself. Because we now know he’s got form in that area. Nothing about Hager’s previous activity as a journalist indicates that he has broken the law or been a party to the breaking of the law. Quite the contrary.

    And no one is suggesting that Hager has broken the law or was party to it. I don't know what was specified on the warrant, or what is normal for a search of that nature. But I do know that a judge reviewed the police's application and issued a warrant so I'm assuming the basic premise of the search and seizure is legitimate. Hager's lawyers will not have an opportunity to challenge that in court, which I believe is the appropriate place.

    If you’ are going to offer up hypotheticals, at least make them equivalent.

    I think it was pretty equivalent. Regardless of Slater's past form (which I agree is terrible) I'm sure he is capable of actual journalism.

    If thing played out as I suggested then I think it's very equal, and the same principles should apply.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to izogi,

    but a formal policy of compulsory reading might be hard.

    We had "Lord of the Flies" and "Shakespeare" which when looking, one could see similarities. Also,Jack disagrees here, but I think 15 yr olds would be a worthy audience.It is then that the Hager books would have a powerful lesson in behaviour and treatment of others. At my age, I'm past being surprised.I'm over thinking things will change. I'm resigned to believing in our country being individual. I had hopes on Sept 20 but I knew the machine was big and powerful and with the added touch of corruption (no matter which way it's measured, big or not so much as the next country), it was going to be a tough call. That's Labours naivety. They keep looking in and not out,but that's just my opinion and I digress .

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Serious question: can anyone figure out why the police were there for 10 hours ?

    Hager’s not a materialistic guy, so I assume he’s got an average-size house. Let’s assume two bedrooms, lounge, kitchen, bathroom and his office. So six rooms, for argument’s sake.

    There is no way it’d take 10 hours to search six rooms. Maybe two or three at most. But 10 ? Why so long ?

    I don't think we (I, at least) know enough about how these matters usually go. It's certainly not unusual for a police search to take many hours (even days at times?) and involve a fair number of officers.

    So I don't know if 5 officers for ten hours is unusual or not. I wouldn't have too much difficulty believing that it's not.

    Also given that we know that Hager was on the phone with the lead detective and that his lawyers were present it's possibly fair to assume at least some of that ten hours was not actually actively searching, but discussing matter with lawyers or others.

    Ultimately I think any claims about how excessive or unreasonable the action was are basically baseless given how little anyone outside the case knows of the specifics of the event, and how little we generally know about what's typical for police in such a scenario.

    Also, I'm assuming, seeing as it was mentioned more than once by Hager in media accounts, that the police warrant probably specified the USB stick he says he received from the hacker. I'm sure you could spend a very long time searching a house for something so easily concealed before you'd satisfy yourself that you'd exhausted all options.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Andrew C,

    Could someone explain to me just what protection being a journalist gives you? I understand there is something around not revealing your sources.

    It's governed by Section 68 of the Evidence Act - I'm not a lawyer but I don't see a reading that would prevent police to executing a search warrant. However the warrant is basically forcing a person to 'produce' evidence, which is protected.

    It seems however, based on the various allowances in the act that the action can be challenged - basically that there are circumstances when a journalist can be compelled to produce evidence, or when the protections of s68 don't apply. Given that those decisions have to be made by a judge it then makes sense, to me, that the police would execute the search warrant to secure the evidence, then make those arguments.

    It's the definition of journalist and informant that have been argued about before, and may possibly be key here too?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The e-receipt says in part:

    “All money will go to Nicky Hager to support any legal case or to cover any costs incurred as a result of the police raid.

    And…

    Did you know 100% of what you donate gets through to your cause on Givealittle.

    I’m confident that it’s all going to Nicky Hager.

    What's your email address? I've got this money in Nigeria I need to move...

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Tuesday afternoon’s Panel on RNZ with Dita de Boni and Penny Ashton was a blow for sanity

    Will go find that. Thanks, Ashton is one of my Family names and de Boni impresses me more and more :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Ultimately I think any claims about how excessive or unreasonable the action was are basically baseless given how little anyone outside the case knows of the specifics of the event, and how little we generally know about what’s typical for police in such a scenario.

    But equally, you have no reason to think that the action was reasonable. Also, no offence, but "I don't know anything about this subject area, so everyone else must be equally ignorant" is kinda patronising and offensive.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Also, no offence, but “I don’t know anything about this subject area, so everyone else must be equally ignorant” is kinda patronising and offensive.

    I have not seen anyone in the media, or even here or on Twitter, claim to have any actual knowledge. I've not seen anyone suggest what is normal, or offer any information at all.

    The only thing we know, as far as I can tell, is that Hager says there were five cops at his house for ten hours. I believe him but I simply don't think that's enough information to draw any conclusions about anything.

    There's no question that from Hager's perspective it's a terrible invasion, as it would be from anyone's who had the same experience, but I just don't think anyone has presented any information (even anecdotal) to contextualise this event in any useful way.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Yep. Got my attention. The ladies had a ball....obviously making Gentle Jim squirm with their left-wing offensive. You go girls.

    As for Natrad's new interviewing style....classic example was this morning's interview with Sue Henry from the Housing Lobby. http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20152583

    Sue Henry knows her stuff. She obviously has a very good grasp of the issues and the machinations behind the scenes. Each time she was making a pertinent point...Ferguson shut her up. Makes Scary Mary sound like a counselor.

    In days of old...I might have fired off an indignant email, demanding the National Broadcaster do it's job properly.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    So I don’t know if 5 officers for ten hours is unusual or not. I wouldn’t have too much difficulty believing that it’s not.

    I’ve had a few searches in my time. Once it was 4 cops ,2 were D’s, 2 were plain uniforms. If memory serves well, They were looking for someone else,recognised me and “stayed” to go over my room. Would have taken 30 mins all up with questioning me.The Policewill do as they please with their information if it serves their purpose. I lost my job within a day or two from that visit. They did nothing about the other guy when he wasn’t home. Just glanced in his room. The blood on his wall didn’t concern them. Freaked the shit outta me!
    Another time I was in a 2 room bedsit. They sent in a decoy to case the place.A woman D knocked on door, said she was looking for so and so, I explained, I’d just moved in, she went away. 3 (her included) came back afterwards, went over the place meticulously but didn’t do every moving box, then I was offered leniency for information. They could pay bills etc , make my debts go away . How nice. I knew the one roach they found wasn’t even a charge. One had put it in a top pocket. This story carried on in ways not worth carrying on about (suffice to say, I'm no informant , my Lawyer did his job, they supposedly got a bollocking) but jist is ,my small place took at least 1 hour. Not 10 . They were obviously meticulous at Nicky Hagers. One may have been forensic. One probably was a photographer and a bunch of them would have continued searching whilst talking on the ph to Hager.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Unless he witnessed the crime, that holds little water. Getting information from someone else is not a crime. If he had videoed an assault, yes, the police would ask for a copy of the recording – they wouldn’t confiscate the phone (unlike American cop shows).

    The warrant wasn't to investigate Nicky for a crime - people need to stop repeating that. He's a witness as he knows who rawshark is and that's what the warrant was for. Maybe that's totally over the top and a terrible way to deal with a witness but I'd imagine that anything they find in his house can't be used to convict Nicky because the warrant will have stated the purpose for which it was to be used - to find the identity of rawshark.

    I’m also concerned that these “specialists” (your term) took 10 hours to turn over what is a fairly modest house. That’s 50 man hours spent on a witness in a case that carries a maximum of 7 years. That’s overkill, and therefore intimidation, and all your devil’s advocacy cannot sweep that aside.

    The police have said that it took 10 hours because there was quite a bit of time waiting while they conferred with Nicky on the phone and then consulted with their lawyers etc. Nicky confirmed this in a statement that I saw.

    Applying that procedural logic, Slater’s computers should also be of interest to them – just to be forensically thorough – and I’m sure he’d be happy for them to explore all avenues, in the interests of the best resolution for a healthy democracy…

    I'm not sure if we know whether that's been done or not. Though I'd guess Slater would boast about it if it had?

    It’s all about, for the Police, more resources and more freedom (always at our expense) through increased statutory power and little or no proper oversight. When was the last time a Commissioner said “we’ve quite enough power under XY Act to deal with this, we don’t need any more thanks”? Yet this is usually the case, even with terror-related activity.

    I'm normally rather impressed with the police's attitude here towards lethal force. Despite public opinion, they're consistently opposed to permanently arming all officers with guns, they're exploring non-lethal force alternatives, and they seem to use evidence to support their moves in this area. Many years ago I worked at National Headquarters and spent a couple of weeks doing data entry of survey forms returned from cops on carrying guns. It led to them moving from the old S&W guns which were difficult for smaller cops to fire, and all cops to reload, to the glock, but they've held a pretty good line on not generally arming all officers.

    Sometimes the police force will influence laws, but in my experience they don't tend to lead the charge on many law changes in their area - normally it's politicians pandering for votes. Police officers tend to be a pretty conservative lot, but many of them would much rather not arrest people for possession of dope. It's not their job to say so though.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Press has a page 3 piece
    "Police explain Hager Raid"
    - can't find it on-line yet

    Police have defended the 10 hours it took to search author Nicky Hager's home, saying it was because they respected his claim to journalistic privilege.
    ...This necessitated a process where all items had to be catalogued, secured, sealed and countersigned by both police and Mr Hager's lawyer prior to being removed from the address. The exhibits were delivered into the custody of the Auckland High Court pending determination of the privilege claim.

    Here's hoping the AHC has an office and evidence room in Wellington, or are they just adding the tyranny of distance on top of the 'filibustered' search process...
    - it all smacks of dumb insolence, to me, concern-troll coppers.

    They must have a court case mapped out if all they are taking is already classified as 'Exhibits' without knowing the digital contents as 'evidence' how can that be?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Sometimes the police force will influence laws, but in my experience they don’t tend to lead the charge on many law changes in their area

    Yeah right.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Holo Men?
    Just a reminder of how the last police enquiry into stolen emails went...

    The investigation saw police interview Parliamentary computer staff, Parliamentary Security staff, cleaners, members of Dr Brash's staff, Politicians, journalists and friends of Dr Brash.
    "Many of them had their own theories on who was responsible and why the thefts had occurred," said Detective Inspector Quinn. "But in the end no firm evidence pointing to a potential perpetrator was uncovered. The file is closed until someone comes forward with some compelling evidence."
    Detective Inspector Quinn said that the investigation uncovered several anomalies with the current computer crimes law and the investigation file would be referred to Police Legal advisers to examine ways in which those loopholes might be overcome.

    What have they changed since 2008, the Search and Surveillance Act?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yeah right.

    Perhaps your definition of 'many' varies from mine.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The Press has a page 3 piece
    "Police explain Hager Raid"
    - can't find it on-line yet

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10585923/Hager-vows-to-protect-hackers-ID

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1388 posts Report Reply

  • pneumeric, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    The search and surveillance act seems to have given a bit more protection in this regard;

    Effect of privilege on search warrants and search powers
    A person who makes a claim of privilege (being a privilege recognised by this subpart) in respect of any thing that is seized or sought to be seized has the right, in accordance with sections 143 to 148,—
    (a)to prevent the search under this Act of any communication or information to which the privilege would apply if it were sought to be disclosed in a proceeding, pending determination of the claim to privilege, and subsequently if the claim to privilege is upheld:
    (b)to require the return of a copy of, or access to, any such communication or information to the person if it is seized or secured by a person exercising a search power, pending determination of the claim to privilege.

    http://prd-lgnz-nlb.prd.pco.net.nz/act/public/2012/0024/latest/DLM2136852.html

    I may be reading too much into this but it seems to me as though this may be a reason for why the police raided while Nicky was in Auckland. He may have been able to prevent the search entirely if he or a representative had been present at the time

    Graeme Edgeler previously discussed the search and surveillance acts effects on journalistic privilege;
    http://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/search-and-surveillance-an-occasional-series/

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The Press: This necessitated a process where all items had to be catalogued, secured, sealed and countersigned by both police and Mr Hager’s lawyer prior to being removed from the address.

    Would police have had an advantage in this process with Nicky Hager being out of town? Even if he's on the phone and with his lawyers present, the cynic in me just wonders if they'd hope he might mis-identify something of interest to them, based on a verbal description, and therefore not invoke the journalistic privilege. Especially after 10 hours of it, probably pulling out each bit of underwear and asking him about it, or whatever other tactics could be involved to distract.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I had my house searched when I was a child because my father was being prosecuted for industrial espionage (long story). It didn't take ten hours and there were only two people doing the search.

    It blows my mind just a little how very keen some people are to ascribe just, disinterested motives to the police. Really? On THIS issue?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    eah right.

    Perhaps your definition of ‘many’ varies from mine.

    Fair enough Kyle, but for me your account significantly seems to ignore Police Association President Greg O'Connor's aggressive politicising of police issues.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 8 9 10 11 12 14 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.