Police were right not to prosecute GCSB officers - watchdog

Kim Dotcom
Russel Norman

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found the police were justified in not prosecuting GCSB officers after it found they unlawfully intercepted private communications.

In 2012 Green Party co-leader Russel Norman had asked the police to investigate whether any GCSB officers had committed a criminal offence after revelations that the GCSB had unlawfully intercepted private communications involving Kim Dotcom.

The police had avoided prosecuting spies which carried out illegal surveillance on Mr Dotcom and his co-accused, Bram van der Kolk.

In 2013 Dr Norman complained to the authority alleging neglect of duty by police in relation to their investigation and the findings arising from it.

Independent Police Conduct Authority chair Judge Sir David Carruthers said the report considered three matters of concern;

  1. The police reliance on an absence of criminal intent to reach a decision;
  2. The appointment of Kristy McDonald QC to oversee their investigation;
  3. The Police failure to investigate an additional 56, potentially unlawful, interceptions by the GCSB that had been identified in the report to the Prime Minister by the former Secretary to the Cabinet Rebecca Kitteridge.

The police’s actions were justified in all three areas, Sir David said in a statement.

Sir David said that the authority had full access to all relevant information, although its investigation had been of limited scope.

“It is not the role of the Authority to investigate the activities of the GCSB, nor is it our role to determine the accuracy of the legal advice provided to the Police by the Solicitor-General.”

“We are solely concerned with examining whether there has been any misconduct or neglect of duty by the Police,” he said in a statement. 

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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