SIS director backs PM's version of events

Photos / NZ Herald
Photos / NZ Herald

Security Intelligence Service (SIS) director Rebecca Kitteridge has backed Prime Minister John Key's version of events around the release of information about former Labour leader Phil Goff's briefing from former SIS boss Warren Tucker on Israeli agents in Christchurch.

The incident is one of author Nicky Hager's key allegations in his Dirty Politics book.

In the book Hager quotes from emails exchanged between Whaleoil Blogger Cameron Slater and his friend Aaron Bhatnagar where Slater indicated he expected to receive documents contradicting Mr Goff's public statements that he did not receive a briefing from Mr Tucker soon after requesting them.

Read more:
Key admits staffer accessed Labour data
Hager's tell-all chapters

Hager and Mr Goff claim Slater received help from the Prime Minister's office to draft his request for the document and that Mr Key's office expedited its release. Media organisations also requested the same material but either received some time after Mr Slater or not at all.

Mr Key this afternoon denied that Slater, who is at the centre of Hager's claims of a National Party dirty tricks campaign, had received favourable treatment, or that his office had anything to do with the release of the document.

This evening an SIS spokesman said the director was "responsible for NZ SIS Official Information Act responses and made the decision to release and what to release in this case".

"Under the no surprises convention the director or a representative would normally inform the minister's office about what is being released under the OIA.

"That's what occurred in this case. Neither the PM or his office expressed a view as to whether the information should be released or to whom or when."

Check out the full coverage of Hager's book here.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n6 at 17 Sep 2014 23:51:23 Processing Time: 490ms