Friday, May 20, 2005

More answers

A couple of months ago, I used the Official Information Act to inquire about the prosecution of Tim Selwyn for sedition. The answers I received were less than satisfactory, so I sent a followup request for

a list of all communications and advice between the police and other agencies (such as, but not limited to, the Crown law Office, or government Ministers) regarding the prosecution of Mr Selwyn.

The request specifically noted that I was seeking information regarding the existence of information, which would not be covered by either by privilege. The focus was on outside agencies to avoid information covered under the Police Act (which covers only internal police communications)

Last week - ten working days late - I received the following reply:

As part of the Prosecution of Mr SELWYN, the Police have dealt with the following outside agencies;
  • Telecom
  • Vodafone

The contact with the above agences and content thereafter is now before the District Court, and therefore withheld under the provisions of Section 6(c) of the Official Information Act 1982.

I'm a little dubious about the accuracy of this response; at the minimum I would expect both Mr Selwyn's lawyers and the Department of the Courts - or alternatively, the Crown Law Office - to appear on the list. I'm sure its an oversight, but it still calls into question the Police's compliance with the Act. My request for clarification will be on its way shortly...


At the risk of understatement, I too am also curious as to the agencies involved. The problem is, as you note, that legal privelege applies to much of the communication so the details cannot be revealed. However why would that limit the Police as to naming the agencies eg. Crown Law? Unless they have had no communication with anyone else and it is just the Police doing everything off their own bat.

Posted by Bomber : 5/21/2005 10:31:00 PM