A former colleague of an employee involved in an alleged affair with Commodore Kevin Keat said the military commander would make weekend visits to the woman's house after dropping his son at football.
Commodore Keat was stood down from his position as head of personnel at Defence Force headquarters in January, amid allegations of a "forbidden" or "unprofessional" affair with a civilian subordinate, whose name is suppressed.
During the morning of the second day of the court martial trial of Commodore Keat, the court heard from prosecution witnesses who painted a picture of the alleged relationship.
A defence staff member earlier said it was common knowledge that the pair were involved.
A former colleague, who worked with the woman between 2009 and 2011, then gave evidence, and recalled seeing Commodore Keat's car parked in the woman's driveway on occasion, and overhearing the pair making arrangements outside work hours.
When the woman and the former colleague were car-pooling to and from work in Wellington, the woman would often speak on the phone to Commodore Keat, he said.
"She would have one speaker phone sitting on her lap. I heard some of the conversations. They were often heated conversations about the fact she felt he wasn't taking responsibility for things like her pay and the fact they had this relationship. It was about conflict, generally, between the two of them.
"Sometimes, if everything seemed to be going well, it would be relaxed and joking and making arrangements to meet. One instance was where they arranged to get a room in a motel in town overnight."
Most of the contact he heard or witnessed between the pair was prior to Commodore Keat taking up the position of Assistant Chief of Personnel, he said.
On occasion, the man said he had driven past the woman's house and seen the commodore's car parked in her driveway. On other occasions, he said he would be having a drink at the woman's house and would be ushered out when she received texts from the commodore.
Sometimes on a Saturday, for instance, the commodore would text to say he was on his way around, so [the woman] would give the former colleague a hurry-on to go.
"He would also arrange to meet her on a Saturday afternoon after taking his son to soccer, I believe. They would meet at her house."
Commodore Keat's lawyer Michael Bott said the alleged visits to the woman's house would not necessarily have involved sex.
Later, Commodore Keat's former executive assistant Melinda Bulman told the court the woman would call the commodore "up to five-plus" times a day, and would frequently visit his office.
"She would come across to the office whenever she wanted. She didn't need to make appointments to see him."
When the pair spoke on the phone, the commodore would speak "whispered or quiet" and would be hunched over, almost behind his desk, she said.
Ms Bulman, who managed Commodore Keat's diary in her role, said if she did not know where to find her boss ahead of a meeting, she knew to call the woman. Commodore Keat would then usually return within five minutes, she said.
The trial is scheduled to continue for the rest of the week.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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