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GSCB legal advice changed daily

Grant
ROBERTSON
Wellington Central MP

21 March 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

GSCB legal advice changed daily

The legal advice that was relied on to justify the unlawful spying on Kim Dotcom was changed five times in a week, says Grant Robertson, Labour’s Deputy Leader.

“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.

“It is hard to interpret that is anything other than a cover-up by the country’s senior spies.

“As part of the affidavits that have been released to me by the Court, there is a list (attached) of the legal privileged documents that the GCSB holds, but will not release. It shows that between 20 February 2012 and 27 February 2012 there were five different versions of the legal advice on Operation Debut.

“However, documents released earlier this week confirmed that the GCSB knew on the 22nd of February that Mr Dotcom was a New Zealand resident, and that therefore the spying was illegal under the GCSB Act, which prevents spying on residents.

“Yet by the end of that week, magically a justification had been found. But because we cannot get access to that advice it is impossible to know how the GCSB justified their actions.

“The shifting legal advice does nothing to dispel the view of many people that this case has the hallmarks of a cover-up. The only way that can be dispelled is for the advice to be released by John Key,” Grant Robertson says.

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