Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Doing over the witness

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  • linger, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    Just BTW, if you’re going to attempt to be pedantic about definitions, you should note the difference between “ingeniously” and “ingenuously”. Fascinating how one typewriter key makes the difference between a compliment and a slur.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    If we were discussing the corresponding raids on Cameron Slater’s home, Jason Ede’s home and Judith Collin’s home, then I would be more comfortable with it.

    There's definitely nothing to suggest they may be in possession of evidence relating to this crime, whereas Hager very clearly is (although as many people have observed, the police stand very little chance of getting anything useful even if a judge allows search of the collected items).

    > I realise that they have not been accused of a crime thus far, but, in a sense, that is also part of the problem – the resources are being sent elsewhere.

    Ultimately we don't know what resources within the police are being spent on what. It's taken them months to even get to Hager who is very clearly a key point of the investigation so it's not unreasonable to assume it's not a super high priority.

    To say that one police action is preventing another is silly. It's silly now and it's silly when people complain that police issuing speeding tickets is stopping them from investigating assaults, or whatever.

    The police have to be able to investigate all manner of things. We can't just demand that things we don't think are important be ignored in favour of much less evident crimes that align better with our political preference. We complain when we thing politicians are doing that, but think we should be able to instead?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Not all crimes are equal.

    Police resources are not infinite.

    Both of these are facts and given those facts it is a reasonable question to ask why are significant police resources being applied to this case.

    Aha... but remember the teapot case where the Police decided that Key and Banks had a reasonable expectation of privacy, even though they were surrounded by dozens of invited media people holding recording devices.

    At best the raid on Hager's home is intimidation. At worst it's a blatant grab of his encryption keys and all of the research he's doing for future stories.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1385 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Dastardly Bounder,

    The police’s priorities certainly need to be questioned. Why hasn’t Slater’s property been seized over the Labour party hacking? Why immediately after the election? Is this the most important thing they could have done with their resources, were there no other crimes that needed to be policed with such thoroughness?

    Maybe the Oily One has compromising pics of the cops?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    The police have to be able to investigate all manner of things.

    They do indeed. That seems to have been the excuse they used when not investigating the Roastbusters, despite clear video evidence that crimes had been committed. It just didn't seem to be a priority.

    I think it's completely reasonable to ask questions about police priorities when comparing the response to the Roastbusters case, and the response to the dirty politics issues.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    We can’t just demand that things we don’t think are important be ignored in favour of much less evident crimes that align better with our political preference.

    Presumably you're speaking for yourself and your pointscoring 'leftie friends', because that kind of condescension seems pretty superfluous around here.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Dastardly Bounder,

    It may be apocryphal but I also remember a story about Police raiding a Canterbury based student magazine....

    I do remember the Police raiding Resistance Bookshop and Kozmik Krumbia printery back in 1973 - because of an article in Ferret magazine called the Mad Bomber's Handbook...

    See this very interesting thesis on Resistance Bookshops in NZ :
    Radical Spaces: New Zealand’s Resistance Bookshops, 1969-1977
    by Megan Simpson (2007)

    (- downloads a PDF)
    see page 93

    The police spent ninety minutes searching the premises taking away Kozmik Krumbia’s files, accounts, a broken electric typewriter, copies of Cock and Earwig and Braithwaite’s personal insurance papers. But they left alone the actual printing press, Gestetner and plate making equipment.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    To say that one police action is preventing another is silly.

    And I disagree.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    I hope some fellow scribes publicly support Nicky Hager in this episode which is pretty clearly intimidation. Some more Rawshark material published would be good confirmation also that not all journos are engaged in compliant weaseling.

    The coppers have bagged Nicky Hagers property but are they allowed to examine it yet? And on what basis. Could drives be cloned and sent elsewhere perhaps so technically the local plods can say ‘they’ have not looked.

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I think it's pretty legit to say that the cops should investigate the possible interference of a senior minister in a major criminal investigation before they raid the homes of any journalists.

    I also think it's pretty legit to say that the cops shouldn't really be raiding the homes of journalists full stop, absent a pretty important reason, and when they do they should be careful not to put the important public functions of journalism at risk. (The idea that this case is comparable to one where a journalist is hiding a murder is revealingly absurd.)

    [Or, basically, what Deborah said.]

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I think it’s pretty legit to say that the cops should investigate the possible interference of a senior minister in a major criminal investigation before they raid the homes of any journalists.

    There may be a partial excuse there, in that the minister is currently the subject of an official inquiry. But the terms of reference of that inquiry -- bizarrely -- exclude Odgers, Slater and Graham, so there would seem to be less of an impediment there. And let's re-emphasise this: there is evidence of extremely serious criminal actions there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There may be a partial excuse there, in that the minister is currently the subject of an official inquiry. But the terms of reference of that inquiry – bizarrely – exclude Odgers, Slater and Graham, so there would seem to be less of an impediment there. And let’s re-emphasise this: there is evidence of extremely serious criminal actions there.

    Has there been any movement on David Parker’s perversion of justice complaint to the Police big cheese? Justice delayed is justice denied.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    If I was Nicky Hagar, I'd have backed up all my data securely and in the Cloud. Hopefully he can jump on a new computer and keep working.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Presumably you’re speaking for yourself and your pointscoring ‘leftie friends’, because that kind of condescension seems pretty superfluous around here.

    There are literally people in this thread (and many around Twitter and elsewhere) saying that the police should not bother investigating this (very evident) crime, but should be investigating the much less obvious crimes disclosed in the book instead.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    Ultimately we don’t know what resources within the police are being spent on what. It’s taken them months to even get to Hager who is very clearly a key point of the investigation so it’s not unreasonable to assume it’s not a super high priority.

    Six weeks, actually, with an election intervening.

    And you need to stop pretending this is standard conduct. It isn’t. It’s an unwarranted fishing expedition involving the seizure of a wide range of material.

    The typically cautious Ursula Cheer said:

    University of Canterbury media law professor Ursula Cheer said Hager had legal grounds to oppose the warrant or the way it was carried out.

    “I think some of his objections could be justified,” she said. “I am surprised it took 10 hours and it sounds odd that it needed to be done when he wasn’t there."

    And:

    Law professor Ursula Cheer told Newstalk ZB’s Rachel Smalley warrants can be challenged on the basis they’re too broad.

    “That they’re more like a fishing expedition and indeed you can challenge a search for not being carried out in a reasonable way as well so that is possible.”

    Ursula Cheer says police are entitled to carry out searches against media, as long as they don’t prevent news from getting out.

    They’ve almost certainly taken a large quantity of unrelated material, along with Hager’s tools of trade and family possessions, and are now saying it’s up to Hager to take costly legal action to get it back. It’s outrageous.

    Are you now happy for the police to similarly descend in force on the homes and offices of, say, Matt Nippert and David Fisher and take whatever they fancy? Can you conceive of the chilling implications of this?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Obituary: the civil libertarians of the right.

    Died, along with their principles, in 2014.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I'm not sure why the obviousness of the crime is the key driver here. There are many obvious but unimportant crimes, and many unobvious but important crimes.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    I agree Dylan that my reaction is somewhat emotive and suits my political leanings. However, following your line of reasoning, if certain police actions do not compromise the execution of others, then they are theoretically capable of investigating every complaint, with no budget constraints. What appears to have happened, in reality, is that they have chosen to send FIVE officers to Nicky's house as their chosen priority.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    You say rather ingeniously that Hager was just ” a witness” but he was more than that as he clearly profited from a crime

    Could we please get over the idea that Hager’s motive was personal enrichment? His journalism is many things – lucrative isn’t one of them. And as others have pointed out, the word "witness" isn't mine -- it's the police's.

    It can be said ( certainly from the Left ) ” that it was for the public good” but let us let the Courts make that decision

    Hager’s legal position here is pretty solid, as you’d realise if you’d bothered to read the Nicole Moreham analysis that I linked to.

    And while we are doing that lets see what real motivation was behind all this

    Like what?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Was it Helen or Heather, Deep Red, who gave the orders?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Which makes what happened last Thursday look all the more like intimidation.

    Yes, and by all means call that spade a spade. Anyone justifying the police actions as purely investigative could do a much better job of it were it not for the fact that:

    He was in Auckland at the time, giving lectures at the University of Auckland.

    Instead of being able to keep tabs on everything that’s walked out the door NIcky's forced to engage in his own investigation. As DB said:

    After each search I felt invaded and a loss of sovereignty, not unlike the feeling you get after being burgled. In all three instances my respect for police and ‘authority’ fell through the floor.

    An event I’m sure Mandy and Julia won’t soon forget.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Tinakori,

    Annette King was Police Minister at the time, as I'm sure you know, you awful troll you.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    If they were going to break in they’d have to get clearance. The police investigation is a very convenient cover. And of course, they want you to know they can enter your house and record all aspects of the way you live and your personal circumstances at their leisure (10 hours worth). Explicit intimidation.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    witness protection...

    You say rather ingeniously that Hager was just " a witness" but he was more than that as he clearly profited from a crime...

    ...it is indeed 'ingenious' to use the police's words back at them, and not at all ingenuous!
    (I have taken the liberty of trying to decipher your meaning, and assumed a vowel movement of u to i...)

    This 'profit' of which you speak, is it only measured in financial returns from book sales? - or can we widen the scope to include an entire nation that 'profited' from the insights offered to a toxic regime and its apparatchiks - priceless!

    And while we are doing that let's see what real motivation was behind all this

    Which 'all this' are you referring to?
    - the Hager house search,
    or the book itself ,
    or the initial hacking of Slater?
    or something else again...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Doyle, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    ISTM that terms National Interest and National Party Interest now mean the same. Are we really heading down the one party state line?

    Stillwater • Since Nov 2011 • 28 posts Report Reply

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