Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hager's thoughts

Stuff quotes Nicky Hager as saying that the police did a "thorough job" in investigating the theft of Don Brash's e-mails.

He would say that, wouldn't he! After all, he is one of those who have the most to lose from the truth coming out. Hager knew that the e-mails given to him, by whatever means they were obtained, were not his to use. But he used them anyway. We still reckon that there is a prima facie case against him under either S 228(a) or S228(b) of the Crimes Act:

Dishonestly taking or using document
  • Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, with intent to obtain any property, service, pecuniary advantage, or valuable consideration,—

    • (a) dishonestly and without claim of right, takes or obtains any document; or

    • (b) dishonestly and without claim of right, uses or attempts to use any document.

    Compare: 1961 No 43 s 229A

    Section 228: substituted, on 1 October 2003, by section 15 of the Crimes Amendment Act 2003 (2003 No 39).

Let's go over the elements one by one. Hager is, by profession, a writer. Hager wrote a book based on the e-mails. Therefore he had "intent to obtain pecuniary advantage or valuable consideration".

He "dishonestly and without claim of right" obtained Brash's e-mails - private, personal documents.

He "dishonestly and without claim of right" used the e-mails as the basis for a book.

It's hard to imagine a clearer case, and we are not even legally trained!

So yes, little wonder Hager thinks Brash's allegations against the Police are "incredible". Unfortunately for Hager, there is a growing body of opinion which disagrees with him. We will most certainly be writing to Auckland assistant commissioner Steve Shortland. We urge others to do likewise. If nothing else, it would be an affront to justice were Hager to walk away from this scot-free.


adamsmith1922 said...

You forgot to note that 'The Hollow Men' was probably one of the most boring books ever published

NH is also a very boring writer

Inventory2 said...

He was a couple of years behind me at school Adam. He was as boring as bat-shit then, and it would appear that not much has changed!

Farmer Baby Boomer said...

IV2, would you please post Assistant Commissioner Steve Shortland's address or suggest where one would find it?

Inventory2 said...

FBB - I'll find it, but probably not until Monday - e-mail me on & I'll pass it on