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Crown Law also Dotcom lawbreakers?


The furore over the illegal GCSB surveillance of Kim Dotcom may be compounded by the involvement of Crown Law in the case.

In the Auckland High Court on Wednesday, it was revealed that two members of Crown Law were at a briefing with members of Police and the GCSB only days before the illegal surveillance began.

The lawyer for the defence team mentioned that their attendance at this meeting would suggest that they were aware of the surveillance at the time. As is now known, police inspector Wormald who is responsible for the case has given ‘inconsistent’ evidence under oath about other surveillance. This is a very diplomatic way of saying he was lying under oath. At the time, he said that there were no other surveillance ops on Dotcom. He was not only aware of at least one other, the GCSB, he would have facilitated it.

Further questions arise, however, if Crown Law was aware that there was other surveillance of Dotcom at the time, since they have the legal oversight for the case, and it would be a serious breach of ethics – and ultimately – perhaps assessor to perjury – for them to have knowingly allowed Wormald to lie on the stand.

Crown Lawyer Pike said in the High Court on Wednesday that the two Crown Law officials present at the meeting were not aware of surveillance.  This somewhat beggars belief since if the Police and GCSB weren’t discussing the impending surveillance operation of Dotcom, just exactly what were they talking about?

The report of the Inspector-General into the case leaves much to be desired, and the call for a wider investigation into the intelligence community is a bare necessity. The role of Crown Law – both in the Dotcom case, and in the Urewera raids case where they provided a totally discredited opinion for bringing terrorism charges based on illegal video surveillance for which there existed no authority whatsoever under law at the time – must also be investigated.

At the Supreme Court hearing into the illegally obtained video evidence in the Urewera case, the crown lawyer at the time said that ‘these sorts of operations were happening up and down this country every single day.’ I think we can take his word on that.