Just days before Alfred Keating stood trial over a hidden bathroom camera found at New Zealand's Washington DC embassy, our military brass fretted over a rumour he would wear his naval uniform in court.
The now convicted and disgraced former naval officer was accused of attempting to make an intimate visual recording of another person after a covert device was found in a bathroom at the diplomatic building during July 2017.
Holding the rank of commodore, Keating was at the time the senior defence attache to the United States.
In the role, he was the face of diplomacy, negotiating and strategy for the Defence Force (NZDF) to one of New Zealand's most important allies.
But just two days prior to Keating's trial starting on April 8 this year, concerns were raised and then relieved with the NZDF's commanding ranks about his attire, emails released to the Herald on Sunday under the Official Information Act (OIA) reveal.
"Sir, I have just had an email and spoken with CDRE Keating (rtd) and he has confirmed that he has no intention of wearing uniform - he is unsure where the suggestion started in the first place," a message from a Wellington-based captain reads.
It had been sent to the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, the Deputy Chief of Navy, Commodore Mathew Williams, the NZDF's Chief of Staff, Air Commodore Andy Woods, and three others who have had their names redacted.
Other details in the email, including the captain's name, were also redacted by the NZDF.
The Herald on Sunday understands that the uniform rumour began in legal circles.
Keating, who was New Zealand's former Assistant Chief of Navy, wore a civilian suit every day during his trial and at his sentencing.
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Yesterday, the Weekend Herald revealed emails to New Zealand's highest-ranking military officers showing there was support for Keating after he was accused and publicly named as the suspect in the hidden camera case.
The emails, obtained through the OIA, also hinted that the former Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral John Martin, was frustrated at not being able to condemn Keating's behaviour.
In an exclusive interview with the Weekend Herald , Keating said he was supported by some top officers but would not name them.
Despite being found guilty by a jury , Keating continues to deny the offending.
He will now spend the next four months on home detention for what Judge Robert Ronayne called a "bizarre and reprehensible" crime.
Keating, the judge concluded, had planted the motion-activated camera in a heating panel to film his colleagues using the toilet and "did so for [his] own sexual gratification".
His decorated and more than 40-year military career came to an end after he left the NZDF two days after pleading not guilty last March.