A soldier who led a white nationalist group has been charged with espionage, and is the first person to face such an accusation of threatening New Zealand’s security by giving information to another country or foreign organisation.
The Defence Force on Wednesday said the soldier, who has name suppression, would face a court martial on 17 charges including multiple counts of espionage, attempted espionage, accessing a computer system for dishonest purposes, and possessing an objectionable publication.
Much of the detail of the allegations remains unknown, including the information the soldier obtained and which country or foreign organisation he shared the information with.
A friend close to the soldier’s family said they were shocked at the charges. The soldier, who was 27 years old when he was arrested at Linton Military Camp in December, now faces the possibility of 14 years in prison.
Going to be a fascinating court martial. If I had to guess he was sharing information with a foreign organisation, not a country.
The soldier continued to be involved in Far-Right groups after the March 15 attack, Stuff understands, and had been planning to fly out to Russia with his partner a week after his arrest.
Or maybe it was Russia?