Top QC to examine GCSB's Dotcom role

Kim Dotcom
Stuart Grieve QC

Senior Queen's Counsel Stuart Grieve has been appointed by the High Court to effectively ride shotgun over the GCSB's role in the Kim Dotcom case.

Mr Grieve told NBR ONLINE he has been given security clearance, but would not elaborate on what exactly his role is.

He says he is "yet to be briefed in detail" but presumes the role involves reviewing the GCSB's involvement in the case.

Mr Grieve was part of a conference call this morning between Mr Dotcom's lawyers, Paul Davison QC, and Willie Akel, and Crown lawyers John Pike and Fergus Sinclair. 

In September it was revealed the GCSB had spied on Mr Dotcom illegally.

Mr Dotcom's defence team asked the court to appoint an independent lawyer to examine the GCSB's information relating to Mr Dotcom to see whether it can be released.

Mr Grieve appeared in the 1995 Equiticorp case against the Crown; he acted as junior counsel to then QC Sian Elias when she went to London to plead a case at the Privy Council. 

He was made a Queens Counsel in 1996, at the same time as Paul Davison.

In 1999 he was asked by then Justice Minister Sir Douglas Graham for a second opinion on the compensation claim for David Dougherty, who was acquitted of rape in 1997 after serving three and half years' jail.

Mr Grieve tried to gag talk about it by getting parties to sign a deed of confidentiality that they would not share any conversations, documents, or other communications they had with him about the Dougherty payment issue.

An irritated Mr Grieve told The National Business Review "it's absolutely none of your business" when asked what he meant by 'parties'.

In 2001 he represented Judge X - a former Russell McVeagh partner and district court judge, who had joined a secretive court battle against the law firm by the Auckland District Law Society.

The following year he represented John Reid, the mastermind behind the Digi-Tech scheme, which was the subject of a Serious Fraud Office prosecution.

The investigation focused on a Digi-Tech investment which involved an aggressive tax-minimising feature using an offshore insurance loan arrangement and loss-attributing qualifying companies.

The case ended in embarrassment for the SFO, with Mr Reid eventually being acquitted.

More recently Mr Grieve represented broadcaster Tony Veitch after he attacked his former partner.

The case resulted in a complaint against spin doctor Glenda Hughes - subsequently thrown out- which asked for an investigation into what role she played in the collation of character references for Mr Veitch.

An animal lover, Mr Grieve and other QCs was brought on to the Auckland SPCA prosecution panel in 2009 by now-embattled former Serious Fraud Office prosecutor Anita Killeen, to target animal cruelty.  

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