Seized Hager material destroyed, attention turns to Westpac

Nicky Hager (@WilShrimpton)
Nicky Hager with his unlawfully taken materials (Photo: Hamish McNicol)

Nick Hager and his lawyer, Steven Price, talk to reporters after watching police take a hammer to a copied hard drive

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Nicky Hager’s attention is turning towards Westpac Bank’s handing over of his bank records after watching police smash 213 times a hard drive containing his material. 

About 17 months after police raided the Dirty Politics author’s home, Mr Hager and one of his lawyers, Steven Price, watched a hard drive and memory card containing copies of seized data get destroyed in the High Court at Auckland.

The pair also collected a computer and other equipment taken by police during what Mr Hager called a “Rambo” raid, after it was last year ruled unlawful.

Mr Hager fought for two months to get permission for the media to watch the copies being destroyed, without success.

But afterwards, he said it was an “amazing day” and he felt like he was “watching history.”

“We went down to the basement of the High Court building here, into this little narrow room, without lights on, and the police held torches around while one of the detectives, in fact the detective who was in charge of removing stuff from my house was there, while he destroyed the materials they had copied from the house.”

Mr Hager says the detective took to the hard drive 213 times with a hammer, before cutting holes in it with a bolt-colter.

But while he is “absolutely confident” the material was not tampered with while sitting at court, his attention now turns to other areas where he says the police were “tricky.”

Mr Price says there will likely be a further hearing later this year regarding further aspects of the case.

“The main thing that’s going on is the question whether it’s lawful for the police to go to banks and get them to turn over someone’s bank records, as they did with Nicky, without a court order.

“That’s something that might affect thousands of people.”

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Great to see the Police doing a thorough job on something. Wish they'd have been thorough enough to attend my burglary instead of brushing me off.

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A Court ordered self-flagellation for Mr Plod if ever there was one.

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There's something very wrong with this scenario. Mr Hagar berates the Police for their actions all the while getting away with using stolen emails from Cameron Slater aka Whaleoil.

The Police investigate (regardless of the rights or wrongs of the search warrant) the complaint of Mr Slater, are then found to have acted wrongly, so they comply with court instructions, all the while in the presence of a man who blatantly undermines the value of the the justice system by receiving and benefitting from acknowledged stolen materials.

Westpac doesn't stand a chance here. They must be the subject of a new Hagar book about a banking conspiracy involving the government.

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Your inability to distinguish the ethical ramifications of protecting news sources from illegal search and seizure by government is a sad indictment of our understanding of the legal niceties required for a functioning democracy. When the states comes knocking for your privacy hope that there is a judge who will wield the law to protect you.

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Hagar isn't a news source or a reporter, he's a conspiracy theorist.

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