Police To Investigate Taping During Press Conference

Police have launched an investigation into alleged covert journalist recordings, following an incident at a press conference yesterday.

They confirmed late last night that a complaint had been received alleging covert taping by members of the press.

The complainant, Police Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess, has alleged he was taped while speaking at a press conference yesterday.

Mr Burgess told reporters yesterday that he had been speaking to journalists, explaining why police had decided not to charge a man for taping a conversation between the Prime Minister and Act candidate John Banks, when he noticed a number of recording devices on the table in front of him.

“At first I thought nothing of it, thinking only that some of the journalists had left their gear on the table.

“It was only when I heard myself on the radio on the way back to my office that I realised what had transpired. To say I was disturbed would be an understatement. I feel violated.”

Police confirm they will investigate the complaint, and say they have already deployed resources from a number of homicide investigations to deal with the complaint.

This morning Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess told a press conference that police were taking the complaint very seriously, and he warned the media not to release any further details of what Mr Burgess said.

However, a number of websites are continuing to display details of Mr Burgess’ discussions yesterday with journalists. These include the New Zealand Herald and Stuff websites.

Media lawyers say the actions of police will have a chilling effect on the media. However, they say they will no longer be commenting on this matter, after being arrested by police this morning.

Update: Police have launched an investigation into alleged covert journalist recordings, following an incident at a press conference this morning.

They confirmed this morning that a complaint had been received alleging covert taping by members of the press.

The complainant, Police Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess, has alleged he was taped while speaking at a press conference this morning.

Mr Burgess told reporters today that he had been speaking to journalists, informing them that police had opened an investigation into alleged covert recording at a press conference, when he noticed a number of recording devices on the table in front of him.

“At first I thought nothing of it, thinking only that some of the journalists had left their gear on the table.

“It was only when I heard myself on the radio on the way back to my office that I realised what had transpired. To say I was disturbed would be an understatement. I feel totally violated.”

Police confirm they will investigate the complaint, and say they have already deployed resources from a number of investigations of peace activists, in order to deal with the complaint.

No media lawyers were available for comment.

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