Police evidence in Dotcom case 'inconsistent'

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 05:00 07/12/2012

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An affidavit from the senior officer in charge of the Kim Dotcom raid contradicts earlier evidence that he gave to the court, a judge has found.

Detective Inspector Grant Wormald already faces questions about testimony that he gave in which he said no other agency had spied on the internet entrepreneur.

Police must also disclose what they know about stationary cameras placed around Dotcom's home.

In the unprecedented ruling from Justice Helen Winkelmann yesterday, government spies will be forced to reveal top-secret details of its illegal surveillance on the Megaupload millionaire.

Justice Winkelmann noted that an affidavit given by Mr Wormald, from the elite Organised & Financial Crime Agency, said "there was no live coverage of the operations going on at the Dotcom mansion".

But she said this contradicted earlier evidence he had given at a hearing. It was a "critical issue" whether there was live footage of events unfolding at the Dotcom mansion, she said.

It "would be relevant to assessing the nature of police actions on site at the Dotcom mansion".

In an in-house magazine in February, police liaison officer Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett said he had monitored activities connected to the Dotcom operation from an FBI command centre in the United States.

Justice Winkelmann wants him to swear an affidavit detailing if the broadcast was live, the source, when he viewed it and where.

Specifically, she wants to know "whether it was of the New Zealand Police raid on Mr Dotcom's property".

Last night, police said "it was not a live feed". However, they have declined to comment further while the case is before the courts.

Justice Winkelmann also wants more details about stationary cameras.

It is understood Dotcom believes cameras were placed around the Coatesville mansion.

Mr Wormald and a Detective Inspector Jones are now required to file affidavits about the cameras and if third parties were involved.

Justice Winkelmann granted an application for the Government Communications Security Bureau to be added as a defendant in a continuing judicial review of the legality of the joint FBI-police raid.

This allows Dotcom to pursue police and GCSB for damages.

In September, the bureau admitted it had illegally spied on Dotcom, a New Zealand resident.

Prime Minister John Key would not comment yesterday.

Dotcom and his US lawyer, Ira Rothken, took to Twitter to celebrate the ruling. "The truth will come out, in court," Dotcom wrote.

Mr Rothken said the decision proved GCSB was not above the law.

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Justice Helen Winkelmann has ordered:

"Discovery" of documents related to the Dotcom operation - which is likely to bolster his fight against extradition to the United States on copyright infringement charges. "Plainly most of what is sought by the plaintiffs is relevant," she said. Senior lawyer Stuart Grieve, QC, has been given security clearance to look at the secret spy documents on behalf of Dotcom. He'll see:

Top-secret GCSB records on their activities in the Dotcom investigation.

Details of any information GCSB provided to the Five Eyes intelligence alliance which includes the US, Britain, Australia and Canada - or any other agencies.

Disclosure of an "in-depth" FBI presentation on the investigation.

Details of a briefing between Anne Toohey, of Crown Law, and other key players and a later video conference, at the OFCANZ office, in November last year.

If anyone else was caught up in GCSB's illegal spying.

An affidavit from Superintendent Mike Pannett, a New Zealand police liaison officer based in Washington, about whether he viewed a live feed of the raid.

Detective Inspector Grant Wormald is also ordered to file an affidavit setting out all dealings involving stationary cameras.

- Fairfax Media

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