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Govt needs to explain Dotcom "political pressure"

15 Jul 14

The release of documents that say that government officials were under "political pressure" to process Kim Dotcom's residency application needs an urgent explanation from John Key.

The documents released by the Security Intelligence Service include reference to Immigration New Zealand being under "political pressure" to process Kim Dotcom's residency application in late October 2010.

"John Key has two important questions to answer, who was exerting political pressure on officials and why were they doing it," claims Grant Robertson, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence Spokesperson.

"The Dotcom affair has always had the fingerprints of National Ministers on it, John Key must finally front up to New Zealanders and explain what he and his Ministers knew and what pressure they were applying.

"On the surface it looks like more of the same from National - interfering and playing politics with what are meant to be independent decisions.

"Only a couple of hours after being informed of the "political pressure" being placed on Immigration New Zealand, the SIS lifted their hold on the residency application. A week later Mr Dotcom was granted residency."

According to Robertson, the government has "never been up front" with New Zealanders about the Kim Dotcom affair.

"We have seen evasion, half- truths and misleading statements from John Key and others," he adds.

“The documents also indicate that the decision about what to do with Mr Dotcom's residency was heavily influenced by the "likely" joint operation against Mr Dotcom between the FBI and the New Zealand Police.

"This raises serious concerns as to whether this decision was being made independently in the best interests of New Zealand.

"It seems the National government's modus operandi is to inappropriately intervene in the supposedly independent decisions of officials.

"New Zealanders are owed an explanation once and for all about what John Key and his Ministers knew and why they have acted so evasively on this issue."

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