Key should pay for illegal spying | The Jackal

25 Aug 2017

Key should pay for illegal spying

The illegal spying and legal then illegal raids on Kim Dotcom and associates by the GCSB always looked highly questionable. That was especially the case when then Prime Minister John Key claimed the GCSB had authority to surveil NZ residents.

It looked even more questionable when the National led government moved to change our laws to make unrestricted spying on all New Zealanders legal. However we now learn that all the government’s legal maneuverings have amounted to nothing.

Today, Radio NZ reported:

Spy agency's Dotcom surveillance illegal, court rules

The High Court has ruled a government spy agency's entire surveillance operation against the internet businessman Kim Dotcom and his associates was illegal.

The court decision from December last year has been released today.

The High Court found the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) operation in 2011 fell outside the scope of its legislation at that time.

Kim Dotcom, Bram van der Kolk, Matthias Ortmann and Finn Batato are appealing against extradition to the United States to face charges of money laundering and copyright breaches.

The ruling said: "The circumstances of the interceptions of communications are Top Secret, and it has not proved possible to plead to the allegations the plaintiffs have made without revealing information which would jeopardise the national security of New Zealand.

Clearly any evidence gained through the GCSB’s illegal surveillance and raids cannot be used in the extradition case against Dotcom or his associates. The case for extradition should therefore be thrown out before any further taxpayer money is wasted.

"As a result the GCSB is deemed to have admitted the allegations in the statement of claim which relate to the manner in which the interceptions were effected."

Grant Illingworth, the lawyer representing Mr Ortmann and Mr van der Kolk, said the court ruling brought the whole operation into doubt.

It showed the extent of the GCSB's abuse of power, he said.

Exactly! Not only does this ruling again show that the GCSB was practicing well outside of its parameters, their illegal spying means the remaining proceedings against Dotcom and his associates cannot proceed further.

But what I would really like to know is can we hold those who’ve instructed the GCSB to undertake illegal spying to account? It was their decision to intentionally breach the law that has caused the case to soak up court time and large amounts of taxpayer dollars.

The National party and in particular John Key should be held to account for this waste of money at the taxpayers expense. If justice was really being served, the National party would be made to pay financially and at the polls this coming election for their continued unlawful arrogance.