This humiliating apology to Hager shows just how badly the police screwed up
The NZ Police have apologised to journalist Nicky Hager over their tactics in seeking to identify Rawshark following the publication of Dirty Politics. And it must never happen again, writes Otago law professor Andrew Geddis
Readers able to remember events of more than a fortnight ago (or, events prior to Fortnite, for that matter) will recall the 2014 election campaign and those never-quite-peak-cray days of Dirty Politics. For anyone needing a refresher course, here’s a handy little explainer written by a fresh faced, up-and-coming tyro named Toby Manhire.
Nicky Hager’s book was based on material obtained from the mysteriously named “Rawshark”, who in turn almost certainly obtained it by way of a criminal computer hack. Much was made of this fact at the time, with Hager accused of using “stolen” information. If interested, you can read Hager’s response to that charge here (at question #5).
Irrespective of the ethics of using the material, however, it was clear that Hager had committed no crime. While we still do not know who Rawshark is, no-one seriously believed it was Hager himself. Equally, there was no evidence that Hager colluded with Rawshark in carrying out the original, unlawful hack…
Police have apologised to investigative journalist Nicky Hager for breaching his rights during their 2014 investigation into his book Dirty Politics.
Mr Hager’s home was searched by the police in October 2014, and in 2015 the High Court ruled that the warrant used for the search was “fundamentally unlawful”.
Following that court case, there were still a number of other alleged breaches of Mr Hager’s rights that needed to be resolved.
But in a settlement, announced today, Mr Hager’s legal team said the police had accepted that they did not have reasonable grounds for the search, that they attempted to breach Mr Hager’s journalistic privilege in multiple ways, and that they did not follow the rules when they obtained private information from third parties, including Mr Hager’s bank….