NEW Zealand’s Security Intelligence Service (SIS) illegally raided the home of former Fijian cabinet minister Rajesh Singh in Auckland last year, NZ First leader Winston Peters has claimed in parliament.
He said the raid was “an arrangement” between the government and Fiji’s ruling military regime, and the Search and Surveillance Act was breached because SIS agents didn’t identify themselves and refused to produce a search warrant.
Mr Peters also claimed Mr Singh and other members of the Fijian Democracy and Freedom Movement “are some of the 88 people illegally spied on by the (NZ spy agency) GCSB”.
He questioned Acting Prime Minister Bill English on Wednesday, and was told that if he believed anything unlawful had happened he should go to the police.
Mr Peters than asked whether the government had “made an arrangement” with Fiji’s military regime to spy on Mr Singh and other members of the movement.
Mr English said he would be very surprised if the government had made any arrangements with the Fijian government.
“Then why did the commander of the Fijian land forces, Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga, text Mr Singh saying he was about to be raided by the SIS at the exact time the raid was happening?” Mr Peters asked.
“I have no idea,” Mr English replied.
Mr Peters said he had 16 text messages and read out some of them, including one which said: “Hear this, bro terrorist, we did raid you, it was the New Zealand SIS, so ask them.”
He said Prime Minister John Key, who is in the Marshall Islands at the Pacific Island Forum, should come home and explain what happened.
“It’s time for him to start acting like a prime minister, get back to this country, and tell us why he has got the Fijians involved in conspiracies to break the law in this country with the SIS and the GCSB.”
The raid on Mr Singh’s home, and raids on several other properties, were reported by media in July last year.
The reports said the raids were in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate Fiji’s leader Commodore Frank Bainimarama.
Mr Singh complained at the time that a laptop and mobile phone had been seized.
Mr Key refused to comment, saying it was an operational matter.