The Herald reports:
The SIS tried to block Kim Dotcom’s residency application but dropped their objection 90 minutes after being told there was “political pressure” to let the tycoon into New Zealand, secret documents from the spy agency reveal.
Last night the leader of the Dotcom-funded Internet Party, Laila Harre, said she “wouldn’t have been comfortable” granting the tycoon residency if she had been the Minister of Immigration.
But she’ll take $3 million from him to get into Parliament now he is here. Hilarious.
Documents declassified and released through the Official Information Act show the Security Intelligence Service describing Dotcom as a “bad but wealthy man” who was under criminal investigation by the FBI.
It also has agents passing on information about the FBI investigation for then Minister of Immigration Jonathan Coleman, described as an “interested party” wanting to get “high rollers” into New Zealand.
In hindsight a rather bad decision overlooking the criminal convictions because of his wealth.
One hour and 27 minutes later, another SIS agent said the agency’s block would be lifted, writing: “Since Dotcom is not of security concern, there is no reason for this application to be on hold with us. Please can you inform your INZ contacts of this, also noting Dotcom is the subject of a criminal investigation and that they need to discuss the case with NZ Police before they proceed with granting him PR [permanent residency].” …
An Immigration NZ spokesman said last night no contact had been made with police after the SIS urged Immigration to do so.
So the SIS were aware he was flagged by the FBI as a person of interest, but as it was not a security issue, said go talk to the Police. But Immigration NZ never did. Sigh.