9 Oct 2012

Peters calls for independent inquiry over Dotcom

10:26 pm on 9 October 2012

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says more revelations and apologies are to come over the Government's handling of the Kim Dotcom case and a full-scale independent inquiry is needed.

Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday confirmed that his office knew about the internet entrepreneur's failed application to buy his mansion in Coatesville near Auckland in July last year.

Mr Key has repeatedly said that the first he ever heard of Mr Dotcom was in January this year - the day before armed police raided his home which is in the Prime Minister's Helensville electorate.

However, in a response to a written parliamentary question from New Zealand First, Mr Key says the information about Mr Dotcom's failed application was never passed on to him because it was routine.

Winston Peters told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Tuesday that is unbelievable, especially when the Prime Minister has had to apologise already because of misinformation.

"If someone in my office did that, they would be sacked. If any former prime minister's chief of staff or any other staff member did that, they would be sacked.

"I cannot conceive of any prime minister saying what the Prime Minister's saying - and particularly in recent years, the no surprises rule means that you get informed. He cannot get away with it."

Mr Peters said earlier that there is no-one in the Prime Minister's office responsible for receiving the information.

"That information was for the Prime Minister's consumption, and therefore his excuse for not knowing simply won't wash."

Mr Peters says Kim Dotcom's application to buy the mansion would have been brought to John Key's attention, especially as the millionaire is of interest to American authorities.

Mr Dotcom, a German national who has New Zealand residency, is fighting extradition to the United States to face copyright, money laundering and fraud charges. He was arrested during a raid at his home on 19 January this year.