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Sunday Star-Times Stands By SIS Story

Media Statement
24th November 2004

Sunday Star-Times Stands By SIS Story

Cate Brett, editor of the Sunday Star-Times, says the newspaper will not be revealing the sources behind Sunday's story alleging the SIS has been involved in widespread and possibly unlawful bugging of Maori organisations.

She said protecting the identity of sources is a universally accepted tenet of journalism and she would not be deviating from that. "The paper can however state that the main source of the SIS bugging allegations, interviewed by Anthony Hubbard and described in the paper as 'Peter', is not the man named by the New Zealand Herald today."

She said the supposed association between the Sunday Star-Times story and past hoaxes, claimed in a NZ Herald story today, does not stand up. "Other news media are invited to check for themselves whether there are any reports of the claimed hoaxes before today's NZ Herald article. Both past stories cited by the NZ Herald, relating to the murky world of espionage, were officially denied. We do not know if the two stories were accurate, but we are unaware of any suggestions that they were hoaxes."

She said the paper would be taking legal advice regarding the inquiry by the Inspector General announced by the Prime Minister today.

"The paper will be continuing its inquiry in this Sunday's paper."

ENDS

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