Cameraman Bradley Ambrose has sworn in a court affidavit that he did not deliberately record the conversation between John Key and John Banks and never considered it private.
Yesterday Mr Key stood by his comments that he thought the recording was deliberate and illegal.
In his affidavit, Ambrose said he placed a microphone on the table because he was too far away to record from the camera. Other media had placed recording devices there too.
He could not hear the audio from the wireless microphone because he had the volume muted to prevent feedback.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
He claims he did not hear the instruction to remove recording devices from the table.
He left the cafe with other media but two journalists stayed within 1m of Mr Key and "could have reached out and touched him without moving, and could have heard any discussion taking place".
While he was filming he noticed the wireless mic had been recording. "I had not thought of the wireless mic since I put it on the table." When he went to retrieve it he told a staffer from Mr Key's office that it had been recording.
"I did not and still do not believe that there was anything amiss with the fact that audio had been accidently recorded."
He listened to some of it "but it was not good quality", and then sent an electronic copy to the Herald on Sunday which had asked for it.
"I did not deliberately leave my mic on the table. It stayed there because I was busy taking shots and did not even think about it. It had never occurred to me somebody would suggest that recording was prohibited and/or that a level of privacy was required or expected."
The High Court is holding an urgent sitting tomorrow to hear arguments about whether the recording was illegal.