By 3 News online staff
A court document filed by the Government’s lawyers reveals that a specialist police agency assured the Government’s intelligence bureau that their spying was legal – when it wasn’t.
It reveals police from the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand (OFCANZ) asked the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) for the surveillance.
The GCSB then sought assurance from police that all those it was about to spy on were foreign nationals - and it got that assurance from OFCANZ.
So it went ahead and found out where Dotcom and his partners at Megaupload were so simultaneous arrests could be made.
The memorandum was filed yesterday by Crown Law and supports an application to set aside a ministerial certificate signed by Acting Prime Minister Bill English.
The certificate was to keep the GCSB's actions secret.
But the police advice was wrong.
Two of those being spied upon were New Zealand residents - Kim Dotcom and Bram Van der Kolk – and as such it was illegal for the GCSB to act against them.
The memorandum spells out that the GCSB did not install or connect any interception devices but they did intercept communications.
These are believed to be emails and mobile phone calls between December 16, 2011 and January 20 this year.
The document shows the only information the GCSB passed on to the police was evidence of the whereabouts of Dotcom and Mr Van der Kolk.