Agent CX on leave as Dotcom case probed

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 05:00 18/10/2012

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A top spook has been placed on "gardening leave" over the Kim Dotcom illegal spying debacle.

Hugh Wolfensohn - also known as agent CX - has more than 15 years experience with the Government Communications Security Bureau.

Director Ian Fletcher would not comment "on staff or employment matters" yesterday. But it is understood Mr Wolfensohn, a former GCSB acting director and legal adviser, has been sent home while an internal review takes place at the under-fire bureau.

Dotcom was placed under surveillance by the GCSB after a request by the Organised and Financial Crime Agency (Ofcanz) last year. However, he is a New Zealand resident, and protected from the activities of the foreign intelligence agency.

There is speculation that Mr Wolfensohn was involved in approving the spying.

Police told spies during a February 16 debrief that the surveillance may have been illegal, but the agency's legal department found no concerns.

But the bungle was made public last month when Dotcom's legal team began to ask questions. An investigation found the bureau was wrongly interpreting immigration laws, which changed in 2009. Three further cases - which may have been unlawful - are being reviewed.

Prime Minister John Key faces further questions in Parliament over the internet millionaire, who is facing extradition to the US on copy infringement charges.

Opposition parties are set on tripping Mr Key up on his claim that he first heard of Dotcom on January 19, the day before the entrepreneur's home was raided.

NZ First MP Winston Peters says that before this a former police officer told Mr Key he was leaving to work for Dotcom. He was working as a VIP protection officer and had driven Mr Key while in Auckland.

"VIPS" are sometimes used in place of the Diplomatic Protection Service.

Mr Key told Parliament Mr Peters was "referring to a chap whose last name I do not know; his first name is Regan. He does not work for the Diplomatic Protection Squad; he works for - or he used to work for - VIPS and, no, I was not aware that he went to work for Kim Dotcom."

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