Labour takes aims at GCSB's legal advice

KATE CHAPMAN
Last updated 13:19 21/03/2013
Kim Dotcom
LAWRENCE SMITH/Fairfax NZ
KIM DOTCOM: The spy agency that looked into his case is under review.

Relevant offers

Politics

NZ First kicked out again: Winston Peters and Denis O'Rourke leave the House Prime Minister John Key told Revenue Minister his lawyer would be in contact New data-driven 'investment approach' for justice system launched by Government NZ's Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft will be next Children's Commissioner OIO faces 'independent review' following Onetai farm sale Christchurch lawyer Duncan Webb seeking Labour Party nomination Tracy Watkins: Brain fade embarrassment averted Labour makes another push for rental heating and insulation standards Secret trips and ISIS talks: Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee heads to Germany Hamilton politicians get 1.5 per cent pay increase

Labour has accused Government spies of casting around for a legal opinion that suited them in the Kim Dotcom case.

Prime Minister John Key confirmed yesterday that a review of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had been ordered in the wake of revelations it spied on the German millionaire, and could lead to significant change.

The report was expected soon.

The agency also confirmed recently that it was increasing the capacity of its legal department.

Former GCSB legal adviser Hugh Wolfensohn had left the agency since the Dotcom scandal broke.

Today, Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson released documentation showing legal advice provided to the GCSB changed five times in a week.

"That suggests the GCSB was desperately casting around for a legal opinion that suited it - one that meant it could pretend the illegal spying was lawful," he said.

Robertson said it could not be interpreted as anything other than a cover-up.

The court would not release the legal documents that GCSB held, but it had given Labour affidavits which showed that between February 20 and 27 last year there were five different versions of legal advice on Operation Debut.

Robertson said GCSB knew on February 22 that Dotcom was a New Zealand resident, and therefore spying on him was illegal.

"Yet by the end of that week, magically a justification had been found," he said.

"But because we cannot get access to that advice it is impossible to know how the GCSB justified their actions."

He called on Key to released the legal advice.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content