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Paul Holmes is an award-winning Herald columnist

Paul Holmes: One more episode of official incompetence

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Dotcom case shows Government will betray its own people for the FBI

Paul Davison, QC, (right) is fighting every inch of the way for Kim Dotcom and believes the GCSB was spying on his client much earlier than it has admitted. Picture / Sarah Ivey
Paul Davison, QC, (right) is fighting every inch of the way for Kim Dotcom and believes the GCSB was spying on his client much earlier than it has admitted. Picture / Sarah Ivey

With the Prime Minister's abject and humiliating apology to Kim Dotcom for the behaviour of the GCSB - the spy agency that the PM is supposed to oversee - the entire Dotcom saga has descended into farce.

I do not believe for a minute it was human error. Too many humans were involved. Dotcom spent half a million on fireworks to celebrate his residency. Rather, GCSB broke the law because they're spooks and spooks only ever acknowledge the law in order to disregard it.

The Crown has made a dick of itself at every turn. So far, nothing has stuck.

What's worse, the officials from every government agency involved - the police, Crown Law and the all-powerful spy pooh-bahs at GCSB - have bent over backwards to please the FBI and betray a man who has the rights of an official resident of this country.

The Crown case is in tatters. On and on it goes. What happened to a man's right to quick justice? I shouldn't think it long before the judge, who does not appear frightened of anyone, throws the whole affair out of court.

What an indecent display it's been, right from the get go when the cops got that helicopter out and put the ninja suits back on for the raid on the man who, from what I know of him, would probably have come to the front door if they'd only knocked.

I say this because recently I spent a couple of hours talking to Kim Dotcom. I suspect he is a genius. He is also very nice.

I don't think he set out to make the Government look foolish. The Government's done that to itself. The spy agency was quite unmindful of civil liberties.

Paul Davison, QC, Dotcom's lawyer, implied darkly the other day that they had information that GCSB was poking its nose into Dotcom's affairs much earlier than it has admitted.

Everything the Crown has taken to court has been thrown out. Davison is fighting every inch of this case with the steely patience and understanding of the judicial system for which he is justly famous.

I know him quite well personally, and have studied the brilliant work he performed at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Erebus disaster more than 30 years ago.

New Zealand officialdom has a history of corruption and covering up. And Erebus is a shining example. I recently spent a couple of years researching it. The departmental inquiry into the accident was malevolent in the blame it levelled at the dead pilots. Never mind that certain staff at the airline had been incompetent in the hours before the disaster. What did it matter? The crew were dead. They could take the blame. That's all it was about.

Think of Peter Ellis and the Christchurch creche case, where the official world was captured by the nuts and the Christians. Think of the electrocution of children at Lake Alice many years ago. Think of Freyburg and his incompetence at Crete which cost the island its freedom, something covered up by the army and the government for more than half a century.

Think of the "unfortunate experiment" at National Women's and how the medical establishment covered for those arrogant old men and how getting the truth was like pulling teeth.

I recall Joe Karam describing to me the obstruction he received from the police when he was researching the Bain case. They did everything they could to stymie him.

What about Crown Law and the Ureweras?

And what about Crown Law advising the police to make a ninja entry to the Dotcom mansion that we now know was illegal. Any apology yet?

GCSB broke the law and encouraged the Deputy Prime Minister to do the same. Any heads rolling yet?

My colleague Fran O'Sullivan wrote that she gets sick of Dotcom's buffoonery making fools of our politicians. I think it's the other way round.

Our officials are buffoons. And I think Key took his eye seriously off the ball and for the first time since he was elected Prime Minister he will take a hit. As regards the principal charge against Dotcom, that he steals copyright, he denies it, of course, and when you think about it he's only done what thousands of others are doing all around the world.

A man spends years building a $2.5 billion international internet business in broad daylight and suddenly the FBI come panting to New Zealand that this man has to be dragged off the street and locked away.

And the New Zealand Government can't wait to do everything it can to help, even if it means betraying its own people.

Dotcom is not only likeable, he's becoming a folk hero.

And he's hired a lawyer who's the smartest in the land.


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