Alleged smoking gun email emerges, dismissed as fake

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The NZ Herald has published a copy of an email that Kim Dotcom apparently intended to release tonight as part of his "Big Reveal" event in Auckland.

The alleged email is dated October 27, 2010, when the government and Warner Brothers were negotiating over barriers to The Hobbit trilogy filming in New Zealand.

It purports to be from Warner Bros’ then-head of home entertainment Kevin Tsujihara to MPAA's Asia-Pacific president Michael Ellis.

MPAA Asia-Pacific is an anti-piracy organisation funded by Hollywood studios. Mr Tsujihara is now chairman and chief executive of Warner Bros.

The key part of the leaked text claims that “John Key told me in private that they are granting Dotcom residency  despite pushback from officials about his criminal past. His AG will do everything in his power to assist us with our case. VIP treatment and then a one-way ticket to Virginia.”

The decision to grant Mr Dotcom residency on was made on October 28, 2010.

Mr Key has said he has no recollection nor record of such a conversation with Mr Tsujihara.

Mr Key has previously denied having ever heard of Mr Dotcom until January 19, 2012 – the day before the tycoon was arrested by NZ Police acting on behalf of the FBI.

Since the breaking story was posted on the NZ Herald website, editor Shayne Currie has tweeted a denial from Warner Bros: “Kevin Tsujihara did not write or send the alleged email, and he never had any such conversation with Prime Minister Key.”

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