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Statement to Media by Dr Russel Norman: IPCA report

Statement to Media by Dr Russel Norman: IPCA report

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) has just released their report on my complaint regarding the illegal spying on 88 New Zealanders.

The IPCA has concluded that the Police decision not to prosecute was justified.

However by the IPCA’s own admission it was “not their role to investigate the activities of the GCSB, nor is it our role to determine the accuracy of the legal advice provided to the Police by the Solicitor-General.”

Needless to say, I am disappointed by their decision.

The 88 New Zealanders who were spied on by the illegal actives of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) will probably never receive justice under this Government.

In practice we now have a double standard in our legal system. Individual citizens who breach the Crimes Act can and will be prosecuted, but when our spies breach the same section of the Act they can’t or won’t be.

The message that is being sent is, if a citizen acts illegally you get in trouble, but if the Government acts illegally, they get off scot free.

John Key sits at the heart of this matter. The contrast in treatment could not be more stark. When Bradley Ambrose allegedly spied on John Key he was vigorously pursued by the police. However when John Key’s GCSB spied on 88 New Zealanders the police had no resources to prosecute.

At the end of the day, the IPCA did not look at the issue which formed the crux of the complaint, which is, did the Police rely on the wrong interpretation of the law when deciding not to prosecute?

The IPCA, in part of their report, concluded the matter was not for the Police but for the Courts.

However the Police and IPCA are relying on advice from the Solicitor-General on this matter that has never been tested in the courts.

In fact how can someone go to Court on the issue when a person doesn’t even know if they have been spied on or not? The whole process is a catch-22 situation.

The report gives a green light for illegal spying because the system has set itself up to be impenetrable to inquiries for justice.

The upshot is clear. They only way to hold the GCSB to account and to achieve justice for the 88 New Zealanders who were spied on is to change the Government.

The Green Party reiterates its call that there needs to be an open and fully independent inquiry into the matter.

But we also need an overhaul of our intelligence agencies. Only a change of Government will achieve that outcome.

Unlike John Key, the Green Party is committed to ensuring that Government spies are held to the same standard as any other New Zealander who breaks the law.

ends

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