Key knocks Campbell 'conspiracy theories'

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 17:02 21/05/2014
GCSB director Ian Fletcher standard
Fairfax NZ
SPY BOSS: GCSB director Ian Fletcher.

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A meeting in Prime Minister John Key's office between spy boss Ian Fletcher and one of his predecessors was "an introduction", Key says.

It was December 12, 2011, and Fletcher was set to take over the reins of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) the following month.

The meeting had previously been reported, but Key had refused to confirm its purpose.

He today branded TV3 television presenter John Campbell a conspiracy theorist over claims that Fletcher, who was shoulder-tapped by Key to head the bureau, was hired to help facilitate the FBI raid on Kim Dotcom's mansion.

Key said the December 12 meeting between the trio was an introduction, although he refused to go into detail.

Campbell last night aired the results of a "two-year investigation" into the recruitment of Fletcher.

It was claimed there was a meeting on December 14, 2011, between Key and the police boss who ordered the spying on Dotcom that was never disclosed.

"John Campbell is completely wrong," Key said.

"There weren't two meetings; there was one meeting.

"The meeting was actually Simon Murdoch with Ian Fletcher over in my office. He happened to be in New Zealand.

"It was an introduction. I can't tell you exactly everything we talked about a) because I would never say that.

"But I can tell you what we didn't talk about. We didn't talk about Kim Dotcom. It's impossible to talk about someone you don't know."

The illegal bugging of Dotcom's mansion is believed to have taken place under Murdoch, who was GCSB director between July 1, 2011, and December 19, 2011.

Key has maintained he was never told of the surveillance.

He said Campbell's story had moved into conspiracy theorist territory.

"I reckon tomorrow night - and I know tonight he's doing keas being run over in car parks - but tomorrow night I reckon he should do Obama not being born in America, and Friday we could move on to 9/11 and why the Americans were behind that, and next week we could move into the Kennedys," he said.

"I mean, honestly, I have some respect for John, but when you do two years and come up with absolutely nada, then you do what he did - set a whole lot of assumptions to music."

Key dismissed claims by Dotcom that Key met the police chief responsible for the raid on the Dotcom mansion.

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"Completely incorrect; never met the police in my life about that issue," he said.

"That was the day the Government was being sworn in."

Key stood by statements that the first he had heard of Dotcom was January 19, 2012.

Police and the FBI executed search warrants on the properties of Dotcom and computer programmer Bram van der Kolk on January 20, 2012, seizing 135 electronic items, including laptops, computers, portable hard drives, flash storage devices and servers.

- Stuff

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