The New Zealand Police have apologised to journalist Nicky Hager for multiple breaches of his rights during a raid and subsequent breaches of privilege and obtaining private information from third parties.
In October of 2014 a ten-hour long search on Hager’s Wellington house was conducted as part of a Police investigation into the source of Mr Hager’s book, Dirty Politics, which featured material sourced from hacked emails leaked to Hager by an anonymous source.
In a media statement released this week, Police acknowledged that they breached Mr Hager’s rights on several occasions during the search and after, when they obtained both information covered by journalistic privilege and obtained personal information from various third parties.
“Police acknowledge that Mr Hager had a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to information that could be used to identify his confidential sources,” the statement says.
“Police also acknowledge that there are legal protections in relation to such information that can only be waived by a High Court Judge. As such, it was not appropriate for the Police to seek such information from third parties without a suitable court order.”
This apology, part of a confidential settlement between the Police and Mr Hager, comes after the High Court ruled the warrant used for the search was unlawful in 2015.