17 Oct 2012

MPs kicked out as Key gives Dotcom statement

9:45 pm on 17 October 2012

Two MPs were kicked out of Parliament on Tuesday as they objected to the Prime Minister making a personal statement about his knowledge of the Kim Dotcom affair.

When John Key rose to speak, Labour MPs Trevor Mallard and David Parker and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters raised a series of points of order.

Mr Parker was kicked out of the Debating Chamber first. Then Mr Peters challenged the Speaker Lockwood Smith's ruling on the matter and also was told to leave.

The Prime Minister then gave his personal explanation to Parliament.

In September, Mr Key was asked during question time in the House when he first became aware that the Government Communications Security Bureau had been monitoring Mr Dotcom, an internet entrepreneur.

The answer given to Parliament was that it had been 17 September this year.

On Tuesday, Mr Key told the House that a review of all material held by the spy agency has found he viewed a presentation on 29 February this year that included a short reference to Mr Dotcom's arrest.

Mr Key says he cannot recall the reference but accepts it may well have been made.

He says he was not briefed on the GCSB's role in the Dotcom matter until 17 September and it was not his intention to mislead the House.

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 mansion near Auckland on 19 January this year.