Shortly after Alfred Keating was revealed as the suspect in the Washington DC embassy toilet camera case, the commanding officers of New Zealand's navy, many of whom knew the commodore, were warned not to speculate or talk to the media.
Keating, the former Assistant Chief of Navy, has fallen from the high and distinguished position of our top military attache to the United States to a disgraced convicted criminal.
An Auckland jury this year found him guilty of attempting to make an intimate visual recording of a person after a covert filming device was found in a unisex bathroom at New Zealand's embassy in the American capital during July 2017.
Keating, 59, was the face of diplomacy, negotiating and strategy for the Defence Force (NZDF) to the US and held diplomatic immunity from prosecution in Washington - but not from the New Zealand Police.
Minister of Defence Ron Mark had confirmed to the Herald - after an Official Information Act (OIA) request - that he was briefed about the police investigation into Keating.
Following further OIA requests, the Herald can reveal the memo to Mark came directly from the then Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Tim Keating.
The two Keatings are not related.
The briefing was dated December 13, 2017 - some two and a half months before Keating was charged and appeared in court for the first time.
"An allegation of offending has been brought to my attention that involves a senior officer, Commodore Fred Keating, RNZN," Tim Keating's briefing read.
"The allegation concerns the installation of a hidden camera in a bathroom at the NZ embassy in Washington DC.
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"The NZDF considers that given the seriousness of the allegation, that Commodore Keating be suspended until the matter is resolved."
Keating's more than 40-year military career came to an end two days after he pleaded not guilty to the charge in March last year.
The news that Keating was the suspect in the scandal, however, was kept from most in the NZDF until shortly after the Herald and other media publicly named him on May 4 last year.
An email informing all members of the navy of the case was sent by a captain, whose name has been redacted by the NZDF, while a second email was sent to commanding officers.
Both emails, released to the Herald under the OIA, appear to have been authorised by the former Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral John Martin.
The email to the officers included "talking points about culture values and behaviours" and a line to recite if contacted by journalists.
"The RNZN is built upon the values of courage, commitment and comradeship. If a member of the RNZN fails to live up to these expectations it is important that they are held to account," the message reads.
"As reported today in the media, criminal charges have been laid against a former senior navy officer.
"While this case is before the court the RNZN is not able to comment on matters related to it. As leaders in our organisation I need you to reiterate this message to our sailors.
"The NZDF and particularly the RNZN acknowledges that the specific issues being dealt with in this case may raise wider questions of the navy and about our organisational response to such matters. We will only be able to respond to these issues after the case has concluded."
The email continued with a warning about spreading rumour.
"Many of you will know the former officer, and you will find the allegations distressing. While it is human nature to speculate, remember that as leaders your comments and actions will be noticed by those you lead.
"It is possible that you may be contacted by the media, or asked questions by our people. It is important that we are in no way perceived as trying to influence or prejudge an outcome while this matter is still before the court. As such, it is imperative that RNZN personnel do not make any comments (internally or externally) in relation to this matter, including discussing it with colleagues in public or in private."
On Saturday, the Weekend Herald revealed emails to New Zealand's highest-ranking military officers showing there was support for Keating after he was accused and named.
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.
A further email, published in the Herald on Sunday, also showed our military brass held concerns over a rumour Keating would wear his naval uniform in court on day one of his trial.
Despite being found guilty, Keating continues to maintain he is innocent.
After being sentenced to four months and 15 days' home detention last week, he sat down with the Weekend Herald for an exclusive interview.
"Your reputation is everything and I have lost that. People who know Fred Keating would speak extremely high of me in a reputational and professional sense – the ability to do his job for the people under his control," he said.
"If the judge had said four and a half years' sentence, quite frankly that would pale into insignificance to the hurt I am feeling. The severity of those non-tangible punishments ... reputation, honour and respect have been taken away from me."
Keating told the Weekend Herald he would not appeal his conviction or sentence.
"Everything was taken away - it was like I had just dropped off a cliff," he said.
When sentencing Keating, Judge Robert Ronayne said: "The height from which you have fallen is self-inflicted."