IPCA Decision Welcomed By Green Party
31 October 2013
IPCA to investigate police decision not to prosecute over illegal spying
The Green Party welcomes the Independent Police Conduct Authority decision to investigate why police decided not to prosecute Government spies for breaking the law.
“The Green Party is pleased that the IPCA will look into our very real concerns about how police handled our complaint and we look forward to getting some answers,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said.
“New Zealanders needed this investigation to be done if they are to have any confidence our laws apply to everyone, including people who work as Government spies.”
Dr Norman lodged a complaint to the IPCA in September over how the police handled his initial complaint against the Government Communications Security Bureau’s (GCSB) illegal interception of the communications of New Zealanders.
The IPCA will investigate all three elements of the Dr Norman’s complaint. He raised concerns about:
1. The appointment of Kristy McDonald QC to provide an independent legal review of his complaint despite simultaneously representing police in a court case against an individual GCSB had illegally spied on.
2. Reliance on an absence of criminal intent in deciding not to prosecute. Police found GCSB did illegally spy but decided not to prosecute.
3. Failure to investigate the additional 85 potential breaches by the GCSB. Dr Norman requested that all cases identified in the report done into GCSB by Rebecca Kitteridge be investigated but police refused.
“Police ignored our concerns about Ms McDonald’s role to provide an independent legal review of the police investigation when they could easily have simply appointed another lawyer. It is good the IPCA recognise and will look into this serious flaw with the inquiry,” Dr Norman said.
“I hope we can see justice done for the 85 New Zealanders who have been illegally spied on and have not even had the courtesy of being told that had occurred.
“I also hope that this investigation can assure us that Government spies are held to the same standards as the rest of New Zealand.
“The reality is that spy agencies with special powers to intrude into the lives of New Zealanders should meet a higher standard of accountability than ordinary Kiwis.
“While it is a very positive development that the IPCA will look into our concerns, this sorry saga shows why we need an independent review of our intelligence agencies and how they operate,” Dr Norman said.