Expert to make Dotcom spy data decision

IAN STEWARD AND KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 12:27 26/09/2012
Kim Dotcom
KIRSTY JOHNSTON/Fairfax NZ

APPEARANCE: Kim Dotcom arrives at the High Court in Auckland.

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Revelations about illegal Government spying on Kim Dotcom may have ramifications all the way to his case in the United States.

Dotcom, leaving the High Court in Auckland today, said it was his understanding the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) provided "real-time" intercepted information to the United States.

"If they got it, and if it was illegal, it might indicate parts of the indictment are tainted."

In other words, the GCSB's illegal spying on Dotcom may make evidence against him inadmissible in an American court.

The extent of the GCSB spying is not yet known.

Dotcom's lawyer Paul Davison said in court it was "likely" there was more material despite police assurances the GCSB only helped to locate the internet mogul and his co-accused.

Justice Helen Winkelmann also expressed concern over the GCSB questioning Crown lawyers as to how the spy agency could not have known Dotcom was a resident, particularly with the extensive media coverage of his immigration status.

"It is something I'm concerned about," the Judge said.

Crown lawyer John Pike fell back on the Government line that there was an inquiry underway and it was not for him to say.

The Judge said the court will appoint a legal specialist to determine whether the information gathered illegally on Kim Dotcom can be given to him.

Crown lawyers said some of the information had the potential to damage the nation's security interests and cannot be handed over without an "amicus" or special counsel, assessing it.

Dotcom's lawyers said they want all the information on their client as soon as possible and have cast doubts on the reliability of Crown or police to properly disclose it, given this week's revelations about the illegal spying.

Paul Davison, acting for Dotcom said the information provided by police had been inconsistent and gave him cause for "grave and significant" concerns.

"(Dotcom) is saying there is real concern about being able to rely upon disclosures that have been made and the completeness of disclosures," Davison said.

He said being able to view the information will inform the court as to whether the actions taken by police in searching Dotcom's house were reasonable or not. The disclosure needed to be unqualified and complete, not the progressive drip fed information received do far.

"Enough is enough is enough," Davison said.

Crown lawyer John Pike said some of the information collected by the GCSB could not be made public, including that which identified sources or channels of information.

He proposed a senior lawyer be appointed as an amicus, who would go though the information passed on to police and assess whether it had the potential to affect security.

A hearing would then take place in a closed court between the lawyers involved.

Justice Helen Winkelmann said this needed to happen quickly, as the process was taking an awfully long time. she supported Dotcom's right to complain about illegal action through the court.

WON'T GET FOOLED

Before entering court this morning, Dotcom said the New Zealand Government had seriously underestimated the sophistication of the Kiwi public, the media, and particularly, the New Zealand court system.

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Dotcom arrived at the Auckland High Court in a black Jeep following revelations that the Government's electronic interception and spying agency, the GCSB, had illegally spied him and one of his co-accused in the Megaupload internet piracy case.

The tech millionaire told reporters there was "much I would like to tell you" but he had to "restrain" himself in advance of his extradition hearing.

"I will say this: The New Zealand Government has underestimated the sophistication of New Zealanders, of their media, and especially of their courts."

He said the court system was used to dealing with people lying and deceiving.

"The courts will see through this... It's in the interests of all New Zealanders that we get to the bottom of this," he said.

The GCSB are only allowed to spy on foreign nationals and the police agency in charge of the Dotcom raids wrongly told the agency Dotcom and co-accused Bram Van der Kolk were foreign nationals when in fact both were permanent New Zealand residents.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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