Peters visited Dotcom three times - Key

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 16:05 12/02/2014
TOO SMART: Kim Dotcom believed an attempt was made to trick him into divulging information while he was in prison.
DELWYN DICKEY
KIM DOTCOM: Internet Party creator.

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Prime Minister John Key has called on NZ First leader Winston Peters to come clean about his dealings with Kim Dotcom, saying Peters has repeatedly visited the internet tycoon.

Key said today that Peters had visited Dotcom three times.

However, Peters, who has accused Key of not being upfront over the Dotcom saga, is refusing to confirm or deny the allegation.

Key said Peters and Green Party co-leader Russel Norman had led the charge against him in relation to the case against Dotcom.

It was time for them to give answers.

"If you think about it there's some very serious questions that now need to be answered, not only by Winston Peters but actually by Russel Norman," Key said.

The prime minister said he had been inundated with demands for answers about his knowledge of and interactions with Dotcom.

Dotcom faces copyright and money-laundering charges in the US.

"Now it turns out that they've had numerous meetings at the Dotcom mansion, they're refusing to actually answer what they talked about, what was involved," Key said.

"They've asked for clarity and transparency from me, I've absolutely given that, are they willing to do the same in return?"

Key would not say whether he thought a deal had been struck, but said it was "very, very unusual" for a politician to say they would overrule the courts.

He was referring to Opposition promises to review Dotcom's case should they win the next election.

Peters repeatedly refused to confirm whether or not he had visited Dotcom's Auckland mansion or respond to Key's "mindless sort of meanderings".

"I'm not going to have people ask private questions which are not being asked by the public, which are not in the purview of public interest in this matter, which doesn't involve taxpayers money and ... respond and give you my diary," Peters said.

This was a matter of "privacy and principle", he said.

Peters maintained that Key knew more about the Dotcom raids than he was letting on.

He said he had never asked a parliamentary question on behalf of Dotcom.

Norman, who said he had visited Dotcom to try to discourage him from launching his Internet Party, made the same assurance. He reiterated that no deal had been struck with Dotcom in relation to his potential extradition.

The case against him was a "mess". The justice minister would have to make a decision on extradition if Dotcom lost his case this year, after the court process was complete, Norman said.

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"The law is quite clear, it's a two-stage process - so there's a judicial process and then if the judges decide that the extradition should go ahead then the justice minister has to make a decision so there's a political process that comes after the judicial process," he said.

"Any government, whatever their flavour, doesn't have a choice about that - they have to answer that question, do they support extradition or not."

If the Government had acted illegally this needed to be considered, he said.

Meanwhile, former ACT leader Don Brash has revealed he had also visited Dotcom.

Brash said he went to Dotcom's mansion several months ago at the Internet Party founder's invitation for a "discussion about New Zealand and the political scene".

"At no stage did he ask me to consider joining his political party, or hint at that," Brash said.

- Stuff

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