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Did English break the law during Dotcom debacle?

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, July 26th, 2017 - 44 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, bill english, national, Spying - Tags: , , , ,

More excellent work from David Fisher in The Herald. We recently learned that the government illegally spied on Kim Dotcom spied for two months longer than previously admitted. Yesterday:

Court papers claim Bill English acted ‘unlawfully’ on Dotcom

Bill English’s role in trying to “cover up” spying on Kim Dotcom faces scrutiny after new evidence shows the internet entrepreneur was under illegal surveillance longer than previously admitted.

The Prime Minister has refused to comment citing ongoing legal action – unlike predecessor John Key, who made his initial public apology to Dotcom during a slew of High Court proceedings and went on to answer questions.

But the legal action which disclosed the extended spying also targets English specifically, saying he acted “unlawfully” when he signed a ministerial certificate intended to bury the spying operation forever.

The original claim against the GCSB stated “the Honorable Bill English acted unlawfully in signing the ministerial certificate suppressing all details of the GCSB’s involvement” in the police raid on Dotcom.

English came to be involved when the possibility of spying emerged in 2012 during a court hearing in the Dotcom case.

In the weeks leading up to it being made public the GCSB went to English, who was acting Prime Minister at the time because Key was out of the country, to try to have its involvement made a state secret.

What English was told is not known – but he signed the only ministerial certificate known to have been issued, giving a total legal shield to anyone involved to refuse any court or other order revealing details. …

The government screwed up, English tried to cover up with “the only ministerial certificate known to have been issued”. Read on for more in The Herald.

44 comments on “Did English break the law during Dotcom debacle? ”

  1. patricia bremner 1

    And probably the tax payers will again have to pick up any “costs” involved in Bill English’s “mistake”

  2. Gabby 2

    Golly, poor Bingles – more bad advice from public servants. He’s been most frightfully unlucky with all the bad advice he’s been given.

    • popexplosion 2.1

      Keyleft the country and English signed off. History repeats. Key broke nz leaves the mess for English. What a loser English is, living in the wake.

  3. mpledger 3

    It’s interesting that across all the time that this is going on, the GSCB just happened to get a signed certificate when Key was away – it’s almost like it was planned.

  4. Martyn Bradbury is currently running an article on this over at The Daily Blog , he has a fair few points of interest and a timeline of events.

    ………………………………

    The timeline here…

    * March 8th 2011 – Jerry Mateparae is stepped down as head of the GCSB.

    * March 15th 2011 – Top NSA spook, James Clapper, flies to NZ to meet with Key to discuss ‘synchronicity’ between the NSA and GCSB.

    * March 22nd 2011 – High level intelligence meetings

    * May 2011 – McCully visits Washington

    * June 17th 2011 – Key meets with Ian Fletcher for breakfast at Stamford Plaza.

    * July 22nd 2011 – Key is invited to Washington as pay back for this new ‘synchronicity’.

    * July 26th 2011 – Key side steps normal protocols and appoints his old school friend Ian Fletcher to take over at the GCSB.

    * October 2011 – John Key, the head of the SIS and NZDF join Ian Fletcher, the MFAT Head, and the DPMC boss for a secret dinner at the British High Commissioner’s home.

    * December 8th 2011 – A letter states that Key is going to meet Ian Fletcher on 12th December.

    * December 12th 2011 – Key meets with Ian Fletcher.

    * December 14th 2011 – The Police boss responsible for spying on Dotcom meets John Key with other intelligence agencies present.

    * December 16th 2011 – Kim Dotcom starts to be illegally spied upon.

    * January 2012 – Raid on Kim Dotcom.

    ………………………………..

    You will remember John Campbell ( Campbell Live ) did a documentary when was he employed at TV3 , – ( probably why he was edged out by Key / Joyce’s lackeys Mark Weldon and Julie Christie) – showing the more than obvious collusion going on behind the scenes at high levels ,… you cannot find that article, – certainly not in visual form , – on the internet. Such was the clean sweep and censorship of this government in wiping out all trace of their wrong doing .

    And as Bradbury points out , – as a net result , this happened in the aftermath :
    ………………………………….

    * National gave the Police vast new retrospective surveillance powers

    * National rammed through legislation under urgency allowing the State to force civil telecommunication companies to build backdoors to their networks and not tell their companies that the State had breached their privacy.

    * National rammed through legislation under urgency allowing the State to spy on NZers.

    * The GCSB went from $80m to $140m in budget per year.

    * The SIS were ‘rewarded’ with a huge increase in powers and budget.

    * The SIS colluded with John Key’s Office to falsely smear the Leader of the Opposition Phil Goff months before the 2011 election.

    Warrantless spying
    ………………………………….

    And National gave these security agencies even more powers that will allow : …

    * The GCSB and SIS to break any law.

    * Allow the GCSB and SIS to give immunity to any other State Agency they deputise.

    * Empower the GCSB to move from being simply technical support to running their own investigations.

    * Imprison anyone who reveals illegal Government spying to the Public.
    …and these powers are being considered while there is an investigation under way that….

    * Our Spies helped the CIA torture prisoners.

    * Questions over whether or not the spy agencies have embarked upon another illegal mass spying of NZers.

    * Why the GCSB spied for Tim Groser to get a job.

    ……………………………………………………………………………..

    And here’s the article :

    Just pause and consider what has been revealed in the latest Kim …
    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/…/just-pause-and-consider-what-has-been-revealed-in-the-la…

  5. Tamati Tautuhi 5

    Don’t think Bill is the smartest boy in the toy box ?

    • tc 5.1

      Hes not stupid and likely well aware of the fingerprints Key didnt want to leave.

      His type doesnt care, he will be well looked after post politics as the hollowmen have to keep all the ones who know where the skeletons are sinecured away.

    • Certainly not as smart as this character who warned about the ‘ military industrial complex’ deep state combination and corporate capital being used to subvert universities by lobbying and bought and paid for research for the desired outcomes…

      As we all know, his successor was assassinated and the events Eisenhower described were in fact , quite prophetic.

      Eisenhower Farewell Address (Best Quality) – ‘Military Industrial …
      Video for Eisenhower Farewell Address (Best Quality) – ‘Military Industrial Complex’ WARNING▶ 16:15

  6. So, just how many years of imprisonment does this crime carry?

    How are the RWNJs going to spin that it’s all good especially after claiming that Metiria did so wrong?

    • mpledger 6.1

      I guess that they’ll hope that the public will find it too time consuming to get their heads around while bashing solo mothers is easy meat.

  7. dukeofurl 7

    Getting English to sign the ‘ Lie your pants off’ certificate while Key was out of the country could have been deliberate, as Key was heavily involved in the background to all this and they knew English was a complete bunny who would just do as he was told without asking questions.

    • Desperate neo liberal determined to push his and his backers agenda through at all costs. Turns a blind eye and holds on for grim life that it isn’t uncovered.

      It was and ,…

      It failed.

      Just like the Todd Barclay affair.

  8. mosa 8

    People don’t care about this issue involving KDC because the media did a great hatchet job on the guy that it removed any inkling of sympathy or alarm at these revelations involving illegal spying and Key made sure that any fallout was kept at a minimum and Key himself did not face the serious scrutiny he should have and most of the complex information that followed went over most people’s heads and i think Kim was the fall guy for the changes Key, Fletcher and the American government wanted imposed.

    I doubt the appropriate action will be taken against English just as Key squirmed his way out of the corruption and patronage while running rough shot over the sovereignty and rule of law of this country he knows he can’t and won’t be touched.

    In more enlightened times a third term government facing these types of serious issues would be facing annihilation at the ballot box as it was brought down by its own sleaze, corruption.

    It’s a terrifying prospect that New Zealanders are now about to re elect the most evil and corrupt government in our history, at least Muldoon acted alone, this National caucus has endorsed these draconian laws and voted for it without any one of them speaking out.

    • Red 8.1

      I am not terrified and I suggest neither is 99.9pc of nz, anyway it’s Nothing for those who are concerned that a tin foil hat won’t fix 😀KDC made his own bed he now needs to sleep in it, as does MeTu

      • In Vino 8.1.1

        This to me is the saddest thing: right-unthinking Kiwis have been conditioned by the media to see KDC as a fat German semi-legal immigrant who is guilty as sin and deserves to be deported. English could murder KDC’s baby, and the right-unthinking Kiwis will say that KDC shouldn’t be here anyway. So no matter what crime English has committed, it will be minimised and justified to the point that it will easily be ignored. A very sad commentary on the state of political and legal awareness in NZ. That includes you, Red.

  9. OncewasTim 9

    We probably need one of those Trotter history lessons here but I suspect at some time in the future, it’s all going to turn to shit for those involved.
    Question is, will it be before they get death – most likely, unless one or two involved start singing the descant to save their own sorry arses.

  10. mary_a 10

    What is the difference between acting unlawfully, breaking the law and committing a criminal offence?

    I don’t see too much of msm tearing Bill English to shreds over this issue, asking some hard questions (other than David Fisher’s excellent piece), as they are with Meteria Turei, claiming all three in her case, virtually crying out for her blood! Yet Bill English ….!!!!!

    Honesty attracts venom it seems!

    • Red 10.1

      They Are not all necessary criminal acts, ie one may simply be acting outside thier lawful authority, legal jurisdiction ultra virus etc, where fraud is a criminal act plain And simple Dont know enough about this case to comment but I do smile at the furious running around by the left to find equivalence to justify MeTu Welfare fraud which is a criminal act, a bit sad really

  11. JustMe 11

    Methinks that this government doesn’t mind breaking the law as long as no-one finds out about the law-breaking. The laws of the land APPLY to others and NOT to National government MPs and their coalition partners. And so to date this ‘cover up’ by English is a reflection of a shoddy and incompetent government who will never hold themselves accountable for THEIR actions. They will do what they are now famous for and that is resorting to blaming everyone else but themselves.

    We all know the Double Dipping MP for Dipton tried to cover his tracks when initially the matter of his Double Dipping started becoming public knowledge. But he had to own up and pay back for his greed.

    English definitely is NOT the sharpest knife in the National Government drawer. He seems to prefer being elusive and avoiding answering questions honestly. It reflects badly upon the National government each time he side steps matters.

    In their combined race to the bottom it looks like Bill English and his team of fools will win out remarkably well. We should really compliment Bill English on successfully making the NZ National Party look so utterly stupid.

    • Red 11.1

      Theres is some truth in what you say But thankfully we have the greens and angry trumping anything national can do with their incredible incompetence and lack of talent in regard to meaningful opposition, I mean its like a dreadful Scotland beating and even more dreadful wallabies

    • Incognito 11.2

      It is well-known National ‘Zen’ that if you break the law and don’t get caught technically it’s pretty legal. Even when caught, no problem till one gets charged and innocent till proven guilty, etc. It’s all about perception; compare this with the riddle about the tree that falls over in the middle of a forest and nobody around to hear it falling and the question is whether it makes/made a sound.

      • Red 11.2.1

        If all you got is they may have done something too to defend MeTu as my old mate OAB would say you are morally and ethically challenged

        • Incognito 11.2.1.1

          If you write an incoherent comment that nobody understands did you write it when it made sense or did you think it made sense to write it and did it make sense or did you write it; does it make any sense? Just saying …

          • McFlock 11.2.1.1.1

            I recall having a similar sensation peeking over a journalist’s should at his notepad and seeing shorthand. I’m sure it made sense to him, and some of the bit looked quite familiar, but I’m buggered if I knew whether he was transcribing the speeches verbatim or composing an article on the fly.

            Same with Red – it’s like he ran it by his fuckwit mates and they said it was really good and would stick it to those damned lefties, but then he pasted it here without replacing all the shorthand with proper nouns and coherent sentences.

    • Red 11.3

      Double dip is Old news and dealt with let’s focus on MeTu and give her, her time in the sun, The double dip squeal is getting a bit boring and has no merit on equivalence, logical or ethical grounds from a justification perspective, unless you are arguing ftrom the perspective and strategic nous of a 2 year old

      • Pete 11.3.1

        Yeah the Double Dip bit is old. Hell, get recent. Like the other week when he persisted in lying about his knowledge and part in the Barclay business.
        He’s just a fucken liar whose brains-of-a-two-year-old followers are get all frantic because Turei admitted lying.

      • Psycho Milt 11.3.2

        Double dip is Old news …

        Well, it was old news until National decided to make ethical standards an election issue while having a fraudster as Prime Minister.

        …and dealt with…

        I guess I must have missed the bit where he expressed contrition for having made false declarations and made sure that he paid every penny back again. Unless those things didn’t happen and you’re just spouting bullshit, of course…

        The double dip squeal is getting a bit boring and has no merit on equivalence, logical or ethical grounds from a justification perspective, unless you are arguing ftrom the perspective and strategic nous of a 2 year old

        Getting a bit boring? Unlike the ever-fresh-and-exciting “sole mothers ripping off the taxpayer” meme you guys have going, I suppose? That one just never gets old, huh? I agree the equivalence level is low, given that the PM ripped off the taxpayer to enhance his already extravagant wealth and took sums that dwarf anything Metiria Turei might have managed. But that low equivalence isn’t exactly a point in English’s favour.

      • And the RWNJ comes in to justify and excuse the immoral actions of National – as expected.

  12. Carolyn_nth 12

    The links to Campbell Live on TV3 website, in past TS posts, now go nowhere, e.g..

    Campbell Live, Fletcher, Key, Clapper et al.

    But, the Campbell Live vids are still on YouTube:

    More on YT.

    • francesca 12.1

      Classic!
      Thanks so much for that
      It was the first time as a political ignoramus that I realised “the bastards lie!”
      And then they fire the truth tellers

      • Akldnut 12.1.1

        Just reveiwed the first interveiw again and I’m astounded (although I shouldn’t be) at all the lies, double speak and sidesteps that roll off his tougue with such ease.

    • Thank you so much for that !!!

      Excellent !!!

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