11 May 2016

Cameron Slater fought to have name suppressed

5:56 am on 11 May 2016

Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, who was at the centre of the Dirty Politics saga, was charged with hiring someone to hack the left-leaning blog, The Standard.

Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.

Blogger Cameron Slater. Photo: Supplied

Slater, whose emails and Facebook messages were hacked and used to write Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics, was charged with hiring Ben Rachinger to obtain property or a benefit, namely computer files from The Standard website.

His targeting of the Labour aligned The Standard website took place even as police were investigating his own hacking complaint.

The charge has been revealed after Judge Richard McIlraith lifted name suppression at the Manukau District Court.

Slater, who has been a long-time campaigner against name suppression, argued the publication of his name would cause him severe hardship, saying there was "an orchestrated campaign to vilify" him.

But Judge McIlraith disagreed.

He said Slater had accepted his guilt and took up a diversion programme, which he was due to complete on May 6, to have his charges dropped.

"He has candidly acknowledged the mistakes that he has made and that he wishes to put those behind him," the judge said.

But in a statement on his blog, Slater said The Standard was not hacked and he did not order for it to be hacked.

He said he believed he was paying Rachinger for information he already had.

"In my tortured mind, there was little different to that and what Hager had done. Take hacked information, publicise it, and the public interest would outweigh the fact that a line was crossed," he said.

Slater said he didn't have a conviction, "but it doesn't mean I'm not guilty of wanting to use data that I believed to have come from The Stardard to expose my opponents and to save myself in the process".

"I did it the wrong way. I let myself down, and I let my supporters down. For that I am truly sorry."

Rachinger is also facing charges of obtaining property by deception, namely $1000 from Slater. He's pleaded not guilty.

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