Tape hearing

Written By: - Date published: 1:13 pm, November 22nd, 2011 - 53 comments
Categories: election 2011, john key, law - Tags: ,

The hearing on the legality of the teapot tapes has been underway since 10am. The Herald has coverage of early news, and The Listener is filtering useful content out of Twitter (or see the feed direct on #votenz). We’ll update this post as events develop.

Update:  According to reporter Derek Cheng (#dchengnzh) inside the courtroom “Judge reserved decision til 215 tomoro #votenz #ambrose“.

Update: 3 News notes the decision.

53 comments on “Tape hearing”

  1. Frida 1

    Why, according to the Herald, is the Solicitor-General there “representing the Crown”?

    We are told this was a private matter, no “public interest” then for the Solicitor-General to be arguing for?

    It will be interesting to see what, if any, submissions he makes. He can’t make any in support of Key and Banks, he has no basis to do so.

    • ianmac 1.1

      Key has his own lawyer there to protect his interests. “Key has lawyer Andrew Caisley representing him.”
      I guess that Key’s credibility is at stake and it is therefore not surprising that the Solicitor General will argue that no declaration should be made at this time.

    • insider 1.2

      Maybe because there is a police investigation going on. THe judge has commented with apparant concern that her giving a ruling when an issue is live could be prejudicial in some way.

      • Bunnykinz 1.2.1

        Yeah, I heard that the Solicitor General was arguing that “a court declaration would be inappropriate because police were still investigating”. At the risk of sounding really dumb, surely if the judgement finds that JoKey and JoBanks had no expectation of privacy, there should not be a police investigation? I am genuinely asking. If the judgement finds that the reporter has done nothing wrong, would that not mean that the police investigation is not into criminality, but just something that JoKey found personally annoying?

        All serious answers welcome.

        • aerobubble 1.2.1.1

          Surely if no charges have been laid then there can be no prejudical outcome. i.e. no
          bruises have yet been seen that would confirm the allegation that I beat my wife. In
          fact the court is basically in discussion whether the PM use of shia law applies, that
          reporters who accidently record the PM at an open press conference should be
          flogged openly.

  2. RobertM 2

    Seems an extrordianarily trivial business for the police to be threatening raids on four media outlets. Surely the solicitor general should be neutral during an election. Its a bit like Watergate. Nixon would not have been so desperate to avoid releasing them if they weren’t damaging. Why invite the media and public if you didn’t want coverage.

    • Frida 2.1

      Exactly Robert. If the AG is named as contradictor to the proceeding, the SG must appear. But in my view he can’t give submissions either way. He must stay neutral.

      Does John Key have all the officers of the State in his back pocket then?

      • queenstfarmer 2.1.1

        The AG is there (represented by SG) because it directly affects an active police investigation. The AG protects the ability of the police to investigate – part of their role. This is standard procedure in NZ., Aus, UK, etc

    • insider 2.2

      Calling it ‘threatening’ and a ‘raid’ is emotive overegging. I’ve been in situations where police have asked for information from my company and we’ve insisted on a search warrant to protect our interests. Did they raid us when they came to get it? No. They rang and made an appointment. It’s basically a process they are following and the warrant gives legal authority. All very civilised.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Ah, the police searching of media and journalist organisations just before democratic elections is “all very civilised”.

    • You are correct it does seems a bit over the top for something so trivial . Som what’s on the bloody thing .Why would a PM go to such lengths to have this closed to the public . Perhaps it could loose him the election .
      Once again whats on the bloody thing ? Maybe its dynamite !!

  3. Treetop 3

    Had there been no tape, I would be confident to say that parts of the meeting would have been reported by the media.

    What would Key and Banks have done?
    Denied what they said, knowing that it could not be proved.
    Said that the conversation was private.

    I want to know if anyone over heard Banks and Key and for them to state what they over heard?

    • insider 3.1

      Ironically they might have said ‘there;s no tape to prove we said that, it’s not the kind of thing we would have talked about, so the listener obviously misheard’….

  4. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4

    Relax. The Solicitor General is there because the freelancer is asking for a ruling on whether a crime has been committed. Crimes are offences against the Crown. hence why the Solicitor General is there representing the Crown.

    • Blighty 4.1

      no. This hearing isn’t about whether there was a crime but whether the meeting was in a public place (and, hence, can’t have been a crime). A negative finding in this case doesn’t prove there was a crime, just that one element of the crime is met. This is not a criminal hearing.

      Now I see why they call your gormless.

      • queenstfarmer 4.1.1

        Not quite, Blighty. It is actually about whether there was a crime. If the conversation was ruled to be non-private, it would effectively halt the criminal prosecution. That is why the AG is involved – the ruling directly affects a criminal investigation, and the police’s ability to investigate.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.1.1.1

          Blighty, I was explaining why the SG was involved. He is not there (as the more conspiratorily-minded Standard readers had suggested) to “bat” for John Key. He was there because the Crown (not Key) was implicated in the decision.

          And what, exactly, do “they” call “my” Gormless?

          • hoom 4.1.1.1.1

            Would it be prejudicial to the criminal investigation of an alleged murder for it to be pointed out that the alleged victim is actually alive and unharmed? Obviously not.

            • aerobubble 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Is it prejudical that a ongoing investigation is used as qualification of guilt? in order to stop this court case to find whether the focusing of cameras and location of members of the public and press, all of whom could very well of heard, even publise another report with the PM voice in the background??

              Imagine that, the PM asking all the press to stop and desist any work when they were invited there!

      • Frida 4.1.2

        Exactly Blighty.

  5. Dv 5

    The tape was haneded to secuity by Key.

    How did Ambrose then get the tape?

    Di nobody have a look in the bag and see it was a tape running?

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      The recording device was confiscated by security. It was a wireless recorder as is commonly used for lapel microphones.

      The actual recording (‘tape’) was captured on Bradley’s video camera. It wasn’t until he got home that he realised he had the audio recording at all.

      • insider 5.1.1

        And that’s the bit that I find hard to believe because he left the camera buttoned on the whole time, capturing the complete conversation. Most cameramen I know are like kids with ADD – they can never keep still and record one thing in a busy environment for that long; they are always chopping and changing shots.

        • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1

          Other journalists/cameramen have said that running his camera for the full 8-9 minutes isn’t “that” unusual and is more a matter of personal style than anything else.

          With digital cameras, such as he was using, every time you start and stop you get a new file created. It’s easier to edit footage when it’s just a single file. So there is actually a technical reason for why someone might want to record in this manner.

          • Dv 5.1.1.1.1

            Thats helpfull.

            Ok the security found the remote mike.
            Why did they not ask where the mother base was?

            • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Why didn’t they prevent the recording in the first place, or properly usher everyone out of the cafe?

              Incompetence is the answer to both questions.

          • insider 5.1.1.1.2

            Re the single file, could be right but my experience with home movies is that I get a huge file that is really hard for my PC to manipulate and would be much easier in small bites (assuming you are right that new files are created – pro cameras might record differently FAIK). No doubt the pros have the memory on their systems to cope. But we are assuming he was working on solid state memory not digital video tape, which is still used and is just as digital.

            • lprent 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Audio is very small and highly compressible. Many cameras these days run external mikes on a different channel and different storage, and frequently from a different device. You put it back together with time stamps.

              Data volumes on cameras come almost entirely from video. Much much larger data, and much harder to compress in real time and those CCDs the power. Camera people will concentrate on reducing video. It wouldn’t surprise me if they leave external audio running.

  6. Nick K 6

    He then accidentally gave it the HoS & TV3.

  7. Treetop 8

    Decision has been reserved at the High Court.

    Judgement to be delivered at 2.15 pm tomorrow.

    Nine lawyers at the hearing.

  8. Tiger Mountain 9

    Stinks high. Solicitor General has put 5 cents worth in according to RNZ 4:30pm news. Said the judge is in the position of acting as a jury. The robed one’s phone will be running hot tonite.
    What a joe hunt ShonKey is when it comes down to it.

  9. Adrian 10

    He gave it to the HOS because he was working for them. It was their recording, the same way anything you make when working for someone belongs to them.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      Actually the HoS editor talked about their working relationship. He gives content to HoS, who may choose to use the material. If they use it, they pay him. If they don’t, they don’t.

      In this case the material he gave them is somewhat out of their normal working arrangement, but he handed it over because he didn’t have much else better to do with it.

  10. ianmac 11

    Judge to act as jury? Isn’t that what NACT have set up to shift some criminal trials away from juries to judge alone?

  11. Tiger Mountain 12

    Adrian you seem unaware of the “Hobbit Enabling Act” and other law that covers freelancers and determines that many people in the film and media industry are contractors not employees. Of course such people are able to join a union, too few do, and to enter into short term contracts or just invoice for work done. Copyright to digital media or other work again is up for grabs depending on the relationship and what if anything has been agreed. All scummy practices in the case of people that could rightly often be considered employees (dependent contractors).

    So it will be somewhat ironic if ShonKey ends up on the receiving end of labour relations he drove in the Warners sell out.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      People can choose to enter into those sorts of working relationships even before the hobit legislation was passed. I get the impression that it is the way Bradley has been working for some years now.

  12. ianmac 13

    Privacy in a cafe? Remember a District Council (Wellington?) telling staff to NOT have council meetings in cafes because they can be and have been overheard?
    Rather telling I would have thought.

  13. rod 14

    John Key. John Banks and their minders didn’t see a little black pouch on the next table. Should have gone to Specsavers!

    • freedom 14.1

      next table rod? , ha! it was by John Key’s elbow the whole time, right there, twenty inches from his face

  14. Dv 15

    I Have a theory.

    Key wants out.
    Sets it up so Peters gets traction.
    Goff wins, but needs Peters.

    Key then resigns as per promise.

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      If he wanted out he could just resign. Stupid.

      • felix 15.1.1

        He could, but I don’t think he would. Not a good look on the cv to resign because you’ve had enough, much better for the history books to resign over a matter of principle.*

        *Not that I think he’s resigning just yet, but if he was then I reckon it’d fit his m.o. to engineer some plausible** reason for leaving so soon.

        **Although I don’t think he has much grasp of what constitutes a matter of principle, so it quite likely wouldn’t end up being all that plausible. 🙂

        • weka 15.1.1.1

          When Goff asked him last night, for the second time, whether National would sell Kiwibank, Key said “no…not while I’m Prime Minister”. Now, who feels reassured?

          • felix 15.1.1.1.1

            Yeah I reckon he’s buggering off, just not yet.

            • Armchair Critic 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Have a look at his cv and see how long he tends to stick at a job – IIRC when I looked a year or two back, his maximum is about four or five years, with a median of about two years. He’s stuck to this PM gig pretty well, but he won’t do another full term.

  15. tc 16

    Still think this is pure diversionary tactics after sideshow started double counting the asset sale proceeds….the more it runs the more folk don’t focus on the plundering that’s going to happen if they get back in.

    Most swingers I’ve come across side with NACT based in the evil media line so it’s working for them.

  16. Tiger Mountain 17

    @ Lanth 12.1 (got bumped down the queue). I get that Lanthanide, just putting it in context. Adrian claimed Bradley Ambrose was working for the Herald on Sunday and that the HoS ‘owned’ the recording. But was he? and even if he was, was he really? in terms of what kind of relationship existed. Notwithstanding who might have ownership of any recording or files.

    I know camera guys that cover horse and car racing and edit as well and the production companies treat them like crap playing one off against the other as to who will work the more ridiculous hours etc.

  17. Dv 18

    La

    he probally has a position on ipredict to protect.

  18. AAMC 19

    What I’m trying to understand, whatever the consequences, as an Editor of a newspaper, if this had legs, publish the bloody thing already and then fight the legal battle after.

    2 possibilities, either the MSM truly is complicit and don’t want to damage National Inc, or it’s actually not the scandal it being painted as and it’s not worth publishing.

    Either way, for HoS to retain/gain any credibility as an objective journalistic voice, it should have printed the thing the moment they got their hands on it!

  19. peterlepaysan 20

    Puppet Key (Pinocchio) and his puppeteers have stuffed up big time.

    It was a while ago when Abe Lincoln made his observation about fooling people.

    It is still true.

    It is even longer ago when Lord Acton made his observation about power and corruption.

    It is still true.

    National have ben banking on an absolute majority one party victory.

    This is starting to look very doubtful.

    MMP makes it very unlikely that one party rule is likely.

    MMP was imposed on Germany after WW2 precisely for that reason.

    MMP weakens the power that assorted lobby groups can exert on governments.

    Interesting that Russia, Britain , or the USA did not adopt the system.

    Interesting that Germany is calling the shots in Europe.

    Russia, Britain, and the USA do not look so flash.

    Pinocchio Key (and Crosby/Textor) have completely misread the situation and have attempted
    to turn an incident into a major event.

    Hopefully it will come back and bite them (hard).

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