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English didn't tell Key about spying

Thursday 04 Oct 2012 12:32p.m.

English didn't tell Key about spying

By Sanele Chadwick

The Labour Party is continuing its calls for an independent inquiry into the Government's handling of the Kim Dotcom case.

Yesterday Prime Minister John Key admitted he was told about the Government Communications Security Bureau’s (GCSB) involvement sooner than he'd admitted.

And today the Deputy Prime Minister had his own memory trouble when 3 News asked him during his trip to London to tell us when he heard about illegal spying on Dotcom.

“I would have to check, but it would be most likely the day I signed the suppression certificate for the court,” Mr English says.

The GCSB told Mr Key in February about its role in the Dotcom investigation, but until yesterday, Mr Key had said he wasn't told until September.

Mr English says he didn't know the spying on Dotcom was illegal when he signed a suppression order over the investigation - but that hasn't gone down well with the opposition.

“This raises even more doubts that when Bill English is in charge and when John Key is away, he doesn't even know what he's signing, and then forgets to tell John Key about it,” Labour leader David Shearer says. “I mean, it's bungling at the highest level.”

Mr English says he thought someone else would tell Mr Key about what the GCSB was up to.

“The thing is, [as] we've already said, I assumed the intelligence agencies would be informing the Prime Minister about their activities.”

Now Labour's calling for more action.

“We want a full independent inquiry of all the intelligence agencies, the checks and balances that are in place and the accountability,” Mr Shearer says.

Mr Key's is currently in Los Angeles for meetings with movie bosses.

3 News

 
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