Dotcom denies hacking involvement
Kim Dotcom is rejecting claims he had anything to do with thousands of emails belonging to shock jock blogger Cameron Slater being hacked.
Slater claimed today he had texts implicating Dotcom in the hacking but Dotcom said it was a diversion.
"This has been designed to shift focus away from Slater's own dirty dealings on behalf of the National Party,'' he said.
"I've said it before but I'll say it again to be perfectly clear - I had nothing to do with any alleged hacking. And while we're on the subject, I had nothing to do with Nicky Hager's book, either."
Author Nicky Hager drew on Slater's emails for a book titled Dirty Politics targeting links between National and Slater.
Hager has also denied that Dotcom was behind the leak.
Hager said last week he may release the emails but said today his source had refused him, as he may release them himself.
Internet Party leader Laila Harre said she did not know about the book or the hacking ahead of the launch of Hager's book last week, calling the accusations "extraordinary".
"This man is living in a fantasy land I don't know what planet he's on but I'm not travelling there with him."
Slater was "caught up in some sort of elaborate delusion".
Harre also called on Justice Minister Judith Collins to step down, saying the person responsible for the Electoral Commission and its funding should not be associated with people whose stated goal was to discourage people from voting.
"To have the minister in charge in the Electoral Commission so deeply embroiled in this whole organised attempt to reduce democracy I think is completely untenable. The Prime Minister should remove her immediately from her role."
The public had to have confidence in the oversight of the commission "and I do not trust Judith Collins... and I do not believe that New Zealanders should trust her either."
The Electoral Commission had been concerned over the reduction in voter turnout and had tried to obtain more resources to increase turnout.
"I believe that the revelations last week give us a pretty good explanation about why the Electoral Commission has been starved of the funds to launch a massive campaign to increase turnout in this election. Higher turnout is the last thing this government wants."
Beefing up the Commission's resources would show the Government was serious about promoting turnout, she said.
A low voter turnout favoured the right, she said.
In a blog post today, Slater linked the hacking to other incidents including National MP Mark Mitchell having his personal emails hacked and office broken into, and claimed Tony Lentino, the businessman who formerly supported Dotcom, also had his office broken into.
Others including a blog contributor and a media person who was a vocal critic of Dotcom also had their emails hacked, Slater claimed.
Dotcom's former personal protection manager, Wayne Tempero, had contacted him this morning concerned about the string of events.
"He had only now worked out what was meant by a text conversation he had with Dotcom on [June 17]," Slater said.
He published screenshots of that text exchange.
"Wayne, I know what's coming. I want to offer you a friendly way out. It's going to get ugly. You don't want to be on the wrong side. You know me. Let's have a chat. Kim."
"Friendly, nothing to worry about. I think I deserve that."
"Phil spilled the beans in front of 2 lawyers and 2 other witnesses for 2 and a half hours. It's all out in the open. We have been collecting evidence and witnesses for 3 months. I hired professionals to get me information. We are preparing a case against everyone involved. I would like you back in my corner Wayne. You know a lot and you know what they are doing is wrong."
KIM DOTCOM DENIES INVOLVEMENT
A spokesman for Dotcom said the Internet tycoon 'flat out denies' any involvement in the hacking or with Hager's book.
The text messages posted by Slater related to a defamation suit Dotcom was compiling against Slater relating to posts on his Whale Oil blog.
The claims were a 'laughable right-wing conspiracy theory'.
Further questions have been put to the Internet Party founder.
JOHN KEY: HACKING IS THEFT
Prime Minister John Key says he doesn't know the identity of the hacker - but says it would be good if they were outed.
"I I haven't spoken to Cameron. All I can guess - and it literally is a guess - obviously it has to be someone with motives and it has to be someone that is sophisticated... my understanding is that they got into his gmail [account] and I understood that to be really difficult to get into.
"He runs his own ship, he is his own entity... so I don't have clue."
Hacking was a "serious matter" and Key said he expected there would be a prosecution if there was proof.
"This is someone who is essentially stealing material. And I think New Zealanders would say that whatever the rights and wrongs of politics, and whether its a dirty business or not, that's an illegal activity and makes everyone feel a bit uncomfortable."
Asked if there was much public sympathy for Slater, Key said: "Well I don't know and I really don't sort of care... he's just running a blog site like anybody else."