EQC opponent fined for contempt
The blogger who leaked details of thousands of insurance claims online has been found in contempt for "deliberately flouting" court orders preventing the information spreading further.
Marc Krieger, the blogger and former Earthquake Commission (EQC) employee, was found late last year to have breached confidentiality when he released 83,000 private insurance claims.
A High Court decision released yesterday dealt Krieger a further blow when he was found in contempt of court after proceedings were brought against him by the solicitor-general. He was fined $5000.
Krieger uploaded a spreadsheet containing details of 83,000 EQC clients to his blog, EQC Truths, in April last year.
Two days later, EQC filed proceedings in the Wellington High Court, and Krieger was prohibited from further sharing the spreadsheet pending the hearing of EQC's application for an interim injunction.
He acknowledged he would obey the ruling in a press release posted on his website.
However, the next day when the interim injunction was granted, Krieger posted an article on his website criticising the decision and days later published hyperlinks to websites where the spreadsheet could be downloaded.
Counsel for the solicitor-general contacted Krieger in May, advising him of an intention to issue contempt proceedings.
Justice Graham Panckhurst said in his ruling he was in "no doubt that both the interim order, and the permanent order, were clear and unambiguous". The solicitor-general also sought indemnity costs, which were reserved so a memorandum may be filed.