Thursday, April 11, 2013

A vital question

We know now that the GCSB illegally spied on Kim Dotcom, intercepting his communications in violation of a clear prohibition in law. And we now know that he wasn't the only victim - they illegally spied on another 88 people over the past decade, almost all of them at the behest of the SIS. But there's one question we really need to know the answer to, given what has happened in this country recently: were Tame iti, Urs Signer, Valerie Morse, and the rest of the Urewera 18 among their victims? Some of them at least want to know:

"We have no confidence that the Prime Minister, the Inspector-General or the Director of the GCSB is telling the full story of the illegal spying by the GCSB. We demand to know unequivocally if we have been spied on - either in relation to the Urewera case, or in relation to our political activity - by the GCSB. Nothing short of full disclosure of those spied upon will suffice," says Valerie Morse, one of the initial accused in the 'Urewera case'.

Its an important question, and one which needs to be answered. If evidence gathered illegally by GCSB was used in the trial (and remember, the Police attempted to lie about that in the Dotcom case), then the resulting convictions are tainted and cannot be considered safe.

John Key has assured us that there have been no arrests and prosecutions as a result of the illegal spying. Of course, he also assured us that there hadn't been any more illegal spying, so I think we can take that with the grain of salt it deserves. The only way we are going to get to the bottom of this is through a full, independent public inquiry.