web analytics

NRT: Gagging Kim Dotcom

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, March 27th, 2014 - 18 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: , ,

no-right-turn-256No Right Turn put this up on tuesday. It is worth re-running it to note how a smear campaign operates at multiple layers.

Since their botched raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion last year, the New Zealand government has faced a PR problem over their handling of the case. And that has been hammered home at every opportunity by Dotcom himself, who turns out to be quite good at winning the hearts of ordinary kiwis. But now the government has a solution: gag him:

Crown lawyers have suggested Kim Dotcom should be gagged from commenting publicly on the legal action against him.

At a hearing at the High Court in Auckland on Monday, Crown lawyer Kristy McDonald took issue with comments the internet businessman had made on the social media site Twitter.

She told the court many of the tweets were scurrilous and risked undermining the court process.

That’s our government’s view of how the justice system should work: they get to persecute you, and you don’t get to complain about it to anyone.

But while it would be undoubtedly convenient for Crown Law, its hard to see how a gag order on Dotcom would be consistent with the Bill of Rights Act’s affirmation of freedom of expression. And while that right can be limited to protect the judicial process, with no jury involved, its hard to see how that could apply. The only “benefit” to such a gag-order would be to reduce public scrutiny of the government and reduce their bad PR. And that doesn’t seem to be “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society” at all.

18 comments on “NRT: Gagging Kim Dotcom ”

  1. captain hook 1

    I dont really give a shit about dotcom but I respect his right to a fair hearing and his right to take part in the political process. That he is now the vicitim of a smear campaign is beyond doubt but what I would like to know is who enticed him here in the first place. If that were known then I think we would know the reason for wail boils antipathy and efforts to gag him.

    • Tracey 1.1

      given the hearings are in front of judge alone and not juries wtf do tweets matter.

      i am with you capt, i dont give a shit about dotcom but i shudder to think that in chasing him a precedent for others in nz could be set for bad behaviour.

  2. Wayne 2

    It depends what KDC is saying in his Tweets, (and I don’t actually know what he is saying).

    But there is a decision of the High Court from 2004 in relation to Nick Smith that basically says you can’t say scurrilous things about the courts. The statements he made were deemed to be in contempt. He got fined $5000.

    And it is not accurate to suggest the Govt (in a political sense) has any involvement in this. This will entirely be the view of the Crown Lawyer.

    The Law Commission is currently reviewing the law of contempt.

    • geoff 2.1

      True, the National party haven’t quite taken over the court process yet. I expect they will probably do that if they win a 3rd term.

      Its would be very interesting to find out exactly how much involvement John Key, Steven Joyce, Wayne Eagleson etc had in the smear campaign against Kim Dotcom.

      From your experience in National, Wayne, to what degree do JK and Co. get there hands dirty in these sordid little afffairs?

      [lprent: I tend to view “when did you last beat your wife/husband/children” questions as simple flame starters. Not particularly helpful from an author. ]

    • lprent 2.2

      It depends what KDC is saying in his Tweets, (and I don’t actually know what he is saying).

      I gather that the CP were instancing a passage from from court documents in a tweet. About the only thing that you could fit in 140 chars was a sentence. I’d question that doing a fullscale gag of tweets based on a possibility of contempt would be somewhat inappropriate. Telling him not to release quoted sentences would be.

      But there is a decision of the High Court from 2004 in relation to Nick Smith that basically says you can’t say scurrilous things about the courts.

      And I agree with that (we use the same principle in these pages) about commenting on the authors personally or the purpose of the site. However the tweets that the CP appear to be referring to aren’t about the court itself, they’re about the behaviour of the prosecution and the police. I’ve read several.

      I have no particular like for dotcom but I’m scathing about their role. Should I be shut up as well?

      For that matter the courts themselves have been scathing about their actions as well. For instance duplicating data from evidence for the FBI with neither the approval of the sitting court or a successful extradition on the legally dubious charges made against Mega.

      The Law Commission is currently reviewing the law of contempt.

      Can I suggest that mandatory prison sentences for police officers releasing evidence and information to third parties would be appropriate. It seems to be a speciality of theirs.

      • Tracey 2.2.1

        is reading slugslick andd farrar compulsory for national party mps and members? it would explain alot.

      • Sacha 2.2.2

        “However the tweets that the CP appear to be referring to aren’t about the court itself, they’re about the behaviour of the prosecution and the police.”

        So they are trying to claim contempt for the prosecution as contempt of the court? Nice try. And this is the same Kristy McDonald who was engaged to offer ‘independent’ advice on the GCSB’s failings.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.3

      Nick Smith didnt just say scurrilous things about the court- after all he claimed he was a member of parliament and parliament was the highest court in the land.

      An absurdity doesnt really count as undermining the processes of justice.

      What Nick Smith DID did do was influence a witness during a current court case

      And to add to this outrage the national partys catholic mafia went on a personal attack to the Solictor General for referring this incident to the High Court

      • lprent 2.3.1

        Good point. I’d forgotten the details.

        The shameless Nick Smith


        Contempt of Court[edit]
        In late March 2004, Smith was found guilty of contempt of court. He had been asked to assist a constituent with a Family Court case and made a number of public comments which broke the court’s confidentiality rules and was also found to have pressured a witness in the case. Smith’s defence was that he was exercising his responsibility as a constituency MP to aid a constituent and that his public utterances in the matter had served the public interest, but these claims were rejected by the court. The Speaker, Jonathan Hunt, held that contempt of court was insufficient to warrant expulsion from Parliament, as it did not fall within the statutory definition of a crime.

  3. PapaMike 3

    In an extradition case all the Judge has to do is to look at the evidence given by the persons seeking the extradition (US Government, that is already in the public domain, on line for those who wish to look) and decide whether in his/her opinion there is a case to answer or not.
    Nothing else.

    [lprent: Banned for 2 weeks for being a lazy fuckwit making a assertion of fact that is in fact false. The criteria are reasonably complex, but in particular contain this.


    involves conduct that would be regarded as
    criminal had it occurred in New Zealand, and
    would have carried a similar penalty

    If you want to make a statement of abolute fact, then spend a few minutes checking it. Don’t be a lazy arsehole asking others for verification without doing your own. And read the policy. ]

  4. Tracey 4

    barry soper surprisingly to me, downplayed the ownership of the signed book on prime news just now.

    the head of the jewish council said he has a copy and its if you believe the things hitler wrote in it that matters. hard to argue with that really.

  5. Tigger 5

    Scurrilous? Interesting adjective. Very ‘Finlayson’ given his florrid style.

  6. Richard Christie 6

    Kristy McDonald is one of the Crown and MOJs’s “go to” * QCs for patsy opinion who recently reviewed Scott Watson’s trial (Hope, Smart disappearances presumed murdered).

    It is salient to note that in Watson’s case his character was systematically assassinated pre-trail by police and patsy journalists such as Cate Brett. Details of such can be read on journalist and author Keith Hunter’s website hunterproductions.co.nz or in his film and book ,Trial by Trickery.

    Also on the website is analysis of McDonald’s made-to-measure report.

    Strangely, she didn’t consider Inspector Rob Pope’s nor Brett’s actions as scurrilous or having had an undermining effect on justice.

    the other being Robert Fisher, who dutifully rubbished Binnie’s recommendations on David Bain’s compensation, and earlier the compensation bid of Rex Haig, after Haig’s conviction was quashed.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    2 days ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    5 days ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • 5,000 portable air cleaners for schools on their way
    As schools are preparing to return, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 5,000 air cleaners have been ordered for New Zealand schools. “As we know, along with vaccination, testing, good hygiene and physical distancing, good ventilation is important in minimising the risk of airborne transmission of the virus that causes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago