Whale in Court

The Herald/NZPA reports:

An internet blogger says his arrest on charges of breaching court suppression orders has seen a huge increase on hits on his site.

reappeared in Auckland District Court today facing five charges relating to allegations he published information which could lead to the identification of two people with .

They related to his posting of pictorial clues identifying the individuals in two sex offence cases. One involved an Olympic Games competitor and another a well-known entertainer.

Slater said he would defend the charges.

The public wanted an ending to most name suppressions, he said.

“I’d say about one per cent of cases deserve name suppression, and that’s those involving sex crimes against minors, so that the victims are not identified,” he said.

Slater said the charges had made his blog popular at a time when internet traffic normally slowed.

“Until police charged me my traffic would have been lower than a provincial newspaper on a Sunday,” he said outside court.

“But on Christmas Day, which is normally the quietest day of the year, I had about 20,000 hits, which was about five times the traffic of (fellow blogger) David Farrar.”

Slater said his legal team had about 16 potential defences to the charge.

He said one was potentially that his blog was hosted in the United States, not New Zealand.

In the past newspapers published overseas have been able to publish the names of people who had name suppression granted in New Zealand.

Slater will reappear in Auckland District Court in two weeks.

The actual hearing will be fascinating. I presume it is on 19 Jan?

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