John Key's Hollywood jaunt will be scrutinised
Prime Minister John Key is poised for a whistle-stop visit to Hollywood, meeting studio executives against the background of international headlines over the Kim Dotcom saga.
Mr Key's trip remains officially under wraps, but a journalist blew his cover in comments on a television show at the weekend.
The detail of any talks with studio bosses would be scrutinised by political opponents because of claims New Zealand was over- eager to please United States authorities in the Dotcom case.
Some have even suggested Hollywood studio bosses pressured New Zealand authorities for action against Dotcom. Mr Key has consistently denied that and said meeting Hollywood production executives was in the country's economic interests.
Labour leader David Shearer said at the weekend there was "an element" of New Zealand getting too close to the United States in the Dotcom case.
"What we've done here is broken our laws, possibly in bending over backwards for the United States, and that's definitely not on," Mr Shearer told The Nation.
He raised concern over the position of director of the Intelligence Co-ordination Group being held by a former ambassador to the United States, Roy Fergusson.
"I can't believe that he [Mr Fergusson] didn't know about everything that had been going on in and around the Dotcom case, because it was so intricately linked to what the US wanted to do," Mr Shearer said.
"So if that information has gone up there and he knows about it, it hasn't gone on to John Key, or John Key hasn't been asking the right questions."
Mr Key was last week forced to apologise to Dotcom over illegal snooping by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).
The spying, as well as a police raid on Dotcom's Coatesville mansion in January, was carried out after an approach by American authorities seeking to extradite the internet mogul on piracy charges.
The Dotcom case has continued to make major headlines overseas, including in the Hollywood Reporter, which covers legal and entertainment issues.
Dotcom tweeted last week after Mr Key's apology: "Headlines from Britain to Malaysia, France to China, Germany to Brazil, Australia to the US. An apology can go a long way."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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