Police have decided not to prosecute Bradley Ambrose the cameraman who recorded the conversation between John Key and John Banks last year.
John Key has welcomed the decision.
“I also welcome Bradley Ambrose’s letter of regret,” says Mr Key.
“I note that the Police statement today contains the comment that, while Mr Ambrose has been issued a warning, the Police are clear that his actions were unlawful.
“As the complainant in this matter, my views were sought by the Crown Solicitor on whether I thought Mr Ambrose should be prosecuted. In light of Mr Ambrose’s letter of regret, I indicated that I did not believe a prosecution was now necessary. . . “
Whether or not the microphone was left on the table deliberately, it was no accident that the tape was given to the media and that it or its contents were given to others.
The police view that Ambrose’s actions were unlawful upholds the principle that private conversations are private, even if held in public places.
The police announcement says:
. . . While Police will not be prosecuting Mr Ambrose he will be issued with a warning.
Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess says this follows a thorough investigation:
“We have examined the full circumstances of how the recording was made and interviewed key witnesses. The decision has been made based on our own analysis of the case and legal advice from the Auckland Crown solicitor, plus consideration of Crown Law prosecution guidelines.
“One factor taken into account is a letter of regret from Mr Ambrose which has been sent to the Prime Minister and Mr Banks. They have both indicated acceptance of this statement.
“While Police have issued a warning in this instance we are clear that the actions of Mr Ambrose were unlawful. This sends a clear message to media that the recording and distribution of conversations that are considered private is likely to lead to prosecution in the future. . .