Helen Winkelmann

A dud judge

Time and again we are seeing dud judges going soft on criminals.

We have highlighted Justice?Helen Winkelmann before and her inconsistencies.

But yesterday she had an absolute shocker.

Burying your son after a brutal beating is every parent’s worst nightmare.

Seeing the attackers walk free, despite an admission of guilt, is Mona and Brent Dudleys’ reality.

The West Auckland family, who lost their “kind-hearted” 15-year-old boy Stephen in June last year, are reeling from a judge’s decision not to convict the teen who assaulted him before his death.

The 18-year-old, whose name is permanently suppressed, attacked Stephen after a rugby practice – punching him in the neck and continuing the attack while Stephen was on the ground.

Justice Helen Winkelmann’s decision to grant the teen a discharge without conviction prompted an angry outburst from the Dudleys in court yesterday. ? Read more »

Jock Anderson on media, journalists and works of journalism

Kim-Dotcon-Fisher-640x472

In parallel to my High Court case that is to determine if some of my work is news, I am a journalist, and Whaleoil a media outlet, Chief High Court judge Helen Winkelmann recently decided that David Fisher’s work of fact-based fiction about Kim Dotcom was not?a product of work that created news.

Which has left Jock scratching his head.

Chief High Court judge Helen Winkelmann has displayed her previously unrecognised editorial talents by declaring a book written by New Zealand Herald award-winning investigative journalist David Fisher about the secret life of Kim Dotcom is not news.

Mr Fisher’s book and – more importantly – his sources, have become tangled up in Mr Dotcom’s tiresome extradition wrangle.

Justice Winkelmann, who is no stranger to Mr Fisher’s work, says his book is not a “news activity” in terms of the Privacy Act and therefore Mr Fisher’s sources and resource material are not protected by conventional non-disclosure of a journalist’s sources.

The judge says Mr Fisher’s authorship of the book was not undertaken by a “news medium” and the book was not affiliated to his employer the NZ Herald. Read more »

Why not an inquiry in Pants?

? Stuff.co.nz

Predictably the Greens want to spend thousands of dollars on another inquiry. What I want to know is why there hasn’t been a call for an inquiry into sparkly pants?

The Green Party is calling for an independent investigation into the raid on internet mogul Kim Dotcom’s house which seemed like a scene from a “bad Hollywood movie”.

Green Party police spokesperson David Clendon said the actions of the police in connection with the Dotcom case needed to be scrutinised by an agency such as the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

In the High Court yesterday, Justice Helen Winkelmann ruled the high-profile police raid that ended in the search and seizure of a large amount of Dotcom’s property was done with invalid warrants.

US authorities claim Dotcom and his three co-accused? Mathias Ortmann, Fin Batato and Bram van der Kolk? used the Megaupload website and its affiliated sites to knowingly make money from pirated movies and games.

They have charged him in the US with multiple copyright offences.

“Given that our police and Crown lawyers were working on behalf of the United States they should have made certain that New Zealand?s laws weren?t trampled on,” said Mr Clendon.

“The original raid on Mr Dotcom?s house was like something from a bad Hollywood movie.”

He said it was of “great concern” that the raid involved invalid warrants.

Dotcom searches illegal

??NZ Herald

Things aren’t going well for the authorities. Dotcom’s lawyers seem to get a much better run from Winkelmann J. than Mark Hotchin’s lawyers….he still has all his assets locked up tight despite still being uncharged criminally by any authority:

The High Court has ruled the police raid on internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom’s Auckland mansion was illegal and the removal from New Zealand of cloned copies of hard drives seized was unlawful.

Justice Helen Winkelmann found the warrants used did not adequately describe the offences to which they were related.

“Indeed they fell well short of that. They were general warrants, and as such, are invalid.”

#Teatape declaration denied

NewstalkZB are reporting:

A declaration on whether a conversation between John Banks and John Key in a Newmarket cafe has been declined.

Justice Helen Winkelmann?has just?released her judgement, saying she has not reached a view on whether it’s a private or public conversation.

She says she has declined the application.

Cactus Kate on Hotchin case

Cactus Kate must have plenty of time on her hands while she is sunning herself in Bangkok. I say this because she has put out two posts showing that she is continuing her crusade to hold the statutory authorities and?the?media accountable for their apparent sloppiness in their investigations and?repeat-age?surrounding Mark Hotchin.

It also shows her impartiality that she is looking with increasing incredulity at the actions of the authorities toward New Zealand’s second most hated man after Clayton Weatherston.

Freezing orders in law are meant to not be granted lightly and be temporary in nature while investigations are completed and with some certainty that charges will be anticipated. Hotchin’s very blanket freeze order was the first under the relevant sections of the Securities Act, however there is reasonable precedent prior for fraud allegations and other New Zealand legislation allows freezing of assets.

The SFO investigation into Hanover was meant to be well completed at?Christmas. As was the Securities Commission’s as to whether to?lay criminal charges. It has dragged on and on. Regardless of the reasons it is now becoming ridiculous.

Hotchin has even claimed that he hasn’t been told what is being investigated. That is there is no specific reference to what he is being investigated for other than a general poke and feel around based on HUtu (Hanover Utu) and sensationalism running rampant in the media and in the public along with all other finance companies. A “fishing expedition” as we call it.

S60G of the Act broadly allows freezing in three situations:

– criminal prosecution have begun
– civil proceedings have begun
– where securities commission are carrying out an investigation into acts or omissions by the defendant.

I like her new name – HUtu. However on the face of it this really does seem to be a trawling exercise to try to find something, anything, just something in order to save face. Now correct me if I am wrong here, but i thought fishing expeditions were illegal. Perhaps under?the?auspices of the SFO they can be as broad as they like but I’m pretty sure that normally authorities need to be pretty specific about what they are after before they go after it.

While Hotchin isn’t the favourite public figure in New Zealand, this case is making for ridiculous precedent. In the meantime Hotchin has had to pay bills, sort creditors and keep businesses moving and progressing. He also owes money to the IRD. I wonder what the IRD feels about the freeze order and whether they will apply to have it lifted themselves to be paid? The taxman waiteth for no one.

No other decision-making director of Hanover has been subject to such an order, no attempt either has been made to freeze Eric Watson’s New Zealand based assets let alone his foreign ones. Hotchin has wore the entire Hanover matter on his own despite in each instance being just one of several directors.

While the general public seems to care none about any swanky car driving, long lunching businessman having anything frozen, which is fine, but everyone should care about antiquated orders such as this seeking to deny an accused (if he’s even that as again there’s been no charges) even the right to the basic presumption of innocence let alone speed in the investigation.

Cactus makes a good point. The lefty blogs are wanking on endlessly about the Urewera 17 being denied open justice and yet remain strangely silent on apparent singling out of a single director who has yet to be charged. Those same liberal panty-waists are the same one who cry a river of tears about the presumption of innocence regarding pedos and?rapists?and that is the reason why name suppression should be retained, yet remain silent on the public vilification in?the?media of an uncharged man and the use of the judiciary to cosh the same man under the?authoritative?thumbs of incompetent investigators who haven’t found a thing in 5 months.

The inconsistency is obvious:

I will give an example of what has happened to Hotchin using a street level scenario. Right now Headhunters, Black Power, Highway 61 and Mongrel Mob gangs happily launder money through bank accounts in New Zealand under guises of associates and members. Most known to Police and the Organised Crime Unit they stick their all ill-gotten gains into banks, property and other investments or assets. I’ve even heard of a charitable trust structures being used by gangs to have “donations” paid into.

Do the authorities freeze their assets on suspicion of fraud or while being investigated? Of course not because gangs are constantly under investigation. They let gangs hold assets because they haven’t got enough evidence to bust them. They are continually investigating them yet their assets stay in tact while this happens and they watch the accounts. The Organised Crime Unit doesn’t just slap a freeze order on the account suspecting they’ve got the money from drugs, guns or crime. All money from gangs comes from some sort of crime, by definition. They aren’t making anything through legitimate 9 to 5 jobs. Its all from drugs, guns, security, extortion, blackmail and protection.

Imagine the outcry from civil libertarians and Hone Harawira if government agencies went around and froze every bank account of a suspected underclass dirty tattooed mainly Maori gang member? Well there’s no outcry when same happened to the nicely dressed middle-class white male.

Cactus also give Fran(k) a serve for her inconsistency.

Oh it is unfair that the totally peer-less Urewera 18 cannot have a jury trial by their peers or delay justice anymore for the terrorist group. Fran O’Sullivan drafted this rather?compelling argument that China’s human rights record may be close to New Zealand’s using the Urewera model.

But we can freeze Mark Hotchin’s assets for four months without charge, without specific details given to him as to what he’s been investigated for and with no signs of any progress in an elongated investigation spanning some months and prior investigations to this.

I bring the Urewera 18 up as Justice Helen Winkelmann is it is pertinent as she is the Judge both denying Urewera 18 a jury trial and Hotchin, any sense of fair play when it comes to the freeze order. The media and public say one is a travesty, yet the other is not.

Oh now that is very interesting. The same judge, the same treatment against accused, or in the case of Mark Hotchin, still not accused. The media and the pinko luvvies are metaphorical marching int eh streets for alleged terrorists but not for a white guy who talks funny and wears a suit. There is a word for that, and since I am not in parliament i can use it,…hypocrisy.

As usual Cactus gets down to tin tacks in?the?most intimidating yet honest way.

All leads to the conclusion that while John Key Prime Minister can stand up at a meeting and say about the man who cost hundreds of millions in bailout money – “I like Allan Hubbard”, left as the most vilified man in New Zealand is a bloke who hasn’t cost the New Zealand taxpayer a cent in a corporate bailout welfare such as SCF, hasn’t plotted terrorist activity like card-carrying vigilante racist Tame Iti or like the gangs sold “P” to your kiddies or gang raped your daughters.

Ain’t that the truth. I am fast coming to the conclusion that something very rotten is happening. Ultimately with Hanover the investors gamblers all voted to toss their lot in with Allied and when they lost their chump change they all of a sudden have buyers remorse. That is not a crime, especially not when they all voted for it. Nice but dim Allan Hubbard meanwhile was running a nice Ponzi scheme, the New Zealand equivalent of Bernie Madoff and he got bailed out. Each taxpayer in New Zealand has lost far more in SCF involuntarily and compulsorily than the?individual?gamblers lost in Hanover through their own voluntary actions.