Keep supporting Nicky Hager
NEW ZEALANDER investigative journalist Nicky Hager was back in court in July with a civil case over a raid on his family by Wellington Police last October. Five detectives removed a lot of his material and personal effects. The raid came very soon after the re-election of the Nationalist Party goverment, whose dirty tricks operation to smear opponents Hager had exposed, already leading to the resignation of one minister. LFB passed a motion in support of Nicky last year, and some LFB members briefly met him at an event in London in December.
Hager claimed there was an undertaking reached between him and the Wellington Police that they would not use information obtained in the raid, and that they had repeatedly breached that undertaking. The Dominion Post reported Wellington Police as admitting to just one such breach, with the police arguing that the breach was not significant enough to make the search "unreasonable.".
The judge has reserved his judgement (with our admittedly poor grasp of New Zealand civil law, we think that means his judgement is coming later.) The case turns on the whether the documents were "privileged" as journalistic material under the country's Evidence Act.
Hager also has a seperate case for civil compensation over the October 14 police raid , which the police said was to search for information on "Rawshark", Hager's source on a dirty tricks operation close to government. Rawshark is alleged to have hacked into the email account of right wing pro-government blogger Cameron Slater. There are no criminal charges against Nicky, who is an "innocent witness" in the Rawshark investigation. As a freelance, Nicky is fighting the case without the benefit of financial support from any well-resourced newsgathering organisation.