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GCSB Incompetence Could Cost Taxpayers Millions

6 December 2012

GCSB Incompetence Could Cost Taxpayers Millions

It is outrageous the taxpayer could end up footing the bill for the Government Communications Security Bureau’s incompetence and the Prime Minister is responsible, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said.

Today Chief High Court Judge Helen Winkelman ruled that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) will have to be a defendant in court action and can be pursued for damages over the illegal search and seizure of Kim Dotcom’s property.

“This happened under John Key’s watch. He provides the only democratic oversight of the GCSB but did not monitor what they were doing and that turned out to be illegally spying on a New Zealand resident,” Dr Norman said.

“The buck needs to stop with the Prime Minister. He can’t wash his hands of the monumental blunder the GCSB made saying he suffered a ‘brain fade’. He is accountable and if the job is too much for him he should give it to another minister.

“It’s his duty and his job, as spelled out in law, to control the functions of the GCSB. The Prime Minister was told the GCSB was involved in spying on Kim Dotcom but did not raise questions. GCSB director Ian Fletcher has also demonstrated he is not up to the job.

“Mr Key’s and GCSB’s incompetence could see the taxpayer fork out cold hard cash during tough financial times.

“What else has gone on that the public hasn’t been told? When a light was shone on GCSB activities it turns out they were up to no good. It will be interesting to see what happens in the court.

“The one positive thing to come out of the Kim Dotcom affair is that as least there will be some independent scrutiny of the GCSB’s actions even though a full independent inquiry should have been held,” Dr Norman said.
ENDS

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