Dotcom GCSB spying report due this week

KATE CHAPMAN AND ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 16:16 19/11/2012
SPIED ON: Millionaire internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.
Reuters
SPIED ON: Millionaire internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.

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Police have interviewed staff from Government intelligence agencies in regard to Kim Dotcom and are due to complete an interim report on Wednesday.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman laid an official complaint with police over the Government Communication and Security Bureau's (GCSB) illegal spying on the internet millionaire.

A letter sent to Norman last Thursday, from Detective Superintendent Peter Read, said police had spoken to all Organised Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (Ofcanz) staff who had dealt with GCSB.

"They have also interviewed a number of employees from other government agencies who were asked to provide advice of information to Ofcanz investigators.

"Read said he was expecting to receive an interim report on Wednesday.

It would take some time before a final report could be made.

A spokeswoman for Norman said he was not expecting to hear anything further until possibly next month.

DOTCOM'S NAKEDNESS CLAIMS

Meanwhile, Prime Minister John Key is standing by his assertion that he knew nothing of the German-born tech millionaire until the day before his arrest.

Dotcom, who is battling extradition to the US on internet piracy charges, yesterday accused Key of lying - and said he will prove it in court.

Key has maintained his first he learned of the German entrepreneur was on January 19, when he was briefed about a joint FBI-New Zealand Police raid on his Coatesville mansion.

Speaking on his way to the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, Key said Dotcom is "just plain wrong".

"I've always said, to the best of my recollection, the first I ever heard of the guy was January 19.

"My office have extensively looked at the meetings I've held, the correspondence I've had both in my electorate office and my parliamentary office and I've seen nothing to conflict that view.

"I have no doubt that he'll try and draw one and one together and he'll get three, as he has in the past - this is a guy who has publicly made quite a few statements that have been proven to be incorrect.''

Opponents have met his denials with incredulity because Dotcom's home - believed to be the country's most expensive property -  is in Key's Helensville electorate. Tradesman and neighbours had approached his constituency office with various issues relating to the wealthy immigrant - but Key says his staff didn't pass them on.

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Dotcom also paid for an enormous fireworks party over Auckland harbour to welcome in the New Year.

And the entrepreneur also came to the attention of his then-justice minister Simon Power and land information minister Maurice Williamson with an application to the Overseas Investment Office to buy the sprawling mansion. Power rejected the bid - because Dotcom was convicted of offences in Hong Kong and failed the good character test.

And the country's foreign spooks, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) began surveillance on Dotcom last year. Key is the minister responsible for the spy agency. It later emerged their activities were illegal.

Dotcom was also a friend of ACT leader and small business minister John Banks - who lunched at the mansion and was a birthday party guest. Dotcom helped fund Banks' bid to be mayor - but his donations landed Banks in hot water, when they were registered as anonymous gifts.

Dotcom said yesterday that Key is "running naked and telling people he has clothes on. Everyone can see he's naked...I know for a fact that John Key knew before January 19 and it's going to be a topic in our court hearing.''

He believes that if his legal team can show the government had an active role in the operation and the extradition process, the courts may throw out the case.

But Key insisted: "He's saying the government is playing some very active role outside of the extradition treaty being invoked, I think that's completely fanciful and not true.''

- Stuff

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