Rare spying case back before Court Martial for disclosure hearing


A Linton soldier charged with espionage is applying for a chance to argue access to highly-classified information held by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service.

New Zealand Army soldiers inside an Australian Army vehicle during the mission rehearsal exercise for Task Group Taji 3 at RAAF Edinburgh, with about 300 Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen prepared for deployment to Iraq in exercise at RAAF Edinburgh in Adelaide, South Australia.

(File image) Photo: NZDF / Supplied

The man, who has interim name suppression, faces 17 charges in a spying case that is the first of its kind in New Zealand.

The case was called before Judge Kevin Riordan for a largely-procedural pre-trial hearing in New Zealand’s Court Martial this morning.

The court heard the solider is making an application, through lawyers Paul Murray and Esme Killeen, to seek a non-party disclosure order.

This order would apply to highly-classified information held by the country’s security and intelligence services, Judge Riordan said.

The judge moved this morning’s legal arguments behind closed doors today, citing national security interests.

The pre-trial hearing has now adjourned and a date for the next one, understood to be one of five pre-trial hearings, has not yet been set.

Last year, the judge considered applications by the Crown to suppress aspects of evidence raised in the case likely to prejudice the security or defence of New Zealand.

He ordered the name of the foreign country at the centre of the case, along with the identities of some expert witnesses and the nature of their work, be kept secret.

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