5 Jan 2010

Blogger charged with breaching suppression orders

3:08 pm on 5 January 2010

An internet blogger has appeared in court charged with breaching name suppression orders in the first prosecution of its kind in New Zealand.

Cameron Slater faces five charges in Auckland District Court after he posted pictures on his blog Whale Oil in November and December last year.

The Crown says he faces fines of up to $1000 for each charge.

Mr Slater was remanded on bail without plea on Tuesday until his next appearance on 19 January so he can seek legal advice.

Speaking outside court, Mr Slater says the postings were a protest against New Zealand's suppression laws.

"If you look at the United States, they don't have suppression. In the United Kingdom, name suppression's very rare. Transparency of the court system is paramount.

"What we've got here is kind of like creeping death - you get name suppression in this case, and then name suppression in that case - and then it's always lowering the bar so that almost anybody who has got a profile or a reputation to protect can get name suppression."

Mr Slater says the postings did not breach suppression court orders and he will defend the charges.