Seized Hager material destroyed, attention turns to Westpac

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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