By Winston Peters
The Government Communications Security Bureau’s admission that it illegally spied on Kim Dotcom is bad enough. But Prime Minister John Key’s insistence that he knew nothing about it – even though it comes directly under his ministerial responsibility – is nothing short of incredulous.
New Zealand First is calling for a full Commission of Inquiry into the illegal surveillance carried out by the GCSB in regards to the Dotcom deportation case.
In our opinion, the Justice Paul Neazor inquiry hastily arranged by Prime Minister John Key is simply too little, too late for an issue of national and international importance.
And our calls for a Commission of Inquiry, with appropriately set terms of reference, are well founded, particularly when you look at the Prime Minister’s appalling knowledge of what went on.
For a start, let’s look at what Mr Key didn’t know:
- He didn’t know who Dotcom was until the day before the January 20 police raid.
- He didn’t know that Dotcom lived in the country’s most opulent mansion in the Prime Minister’s own Helensville electorate.
- He didn’t know the GCSB was spying on Dotcom until seven months after the surveillance stopped.
- He didn’t know until this week that acting Prime Minister Bill English signed a ministerial certificate to gag details surrounding the botched GCSB surveillance.
It is all evidence of serious systemic failures in the communication between Mr Key, senior Government Ministers and officials, senior police officers, the GCSB, the SIS, and the Prime Minister’s office.
When you consider that details around New Zealand’s shambolic role in the FBI investigation are going directly to the White House, the implications are grim for our reputation as a country with an open and honest democracy.
A Commission of Inquiry would find the truth behind the Dotcom investigation fiasco and help maintain our international standing.
It is interesting that Kim Dotcom is a heavy set German and that the Prime Minister is taking the line from a similar character – Sergeant Shultz from Hogan’s Heroes – with the ‘I know nothing’ mantra.
At least the Prime Minister isn’t using John Banks’ “nothing to fear, nothing to hide’’ approach to the Dotcom funding scandal which was seen to be incorrect on both counts.
Winston Peters is the leader of New Zealand First