National / World

Freelance journalist sues New Zealand PM

Wellington, Dec 9 (IANS): A freelance journalist in New Zealand has initiated legal action against Prime Minister John Key for allegedly defaming him, media reported Tuesday.

Freelance journalist Bradley Ambrose has sought $1.25 million in damages from the prime minister, Radio New Zealand reported.

Ambrose has alleged that John Key had made defamatory comments about him on three occasions.

He filed a defamation case against the prime minister in the High Court in Auckland.

Ambrose had been at the centre of the teapot tape incident in November 2011. The infamous teapot tape saga stems from a staged meeting between John Key and former ACT leader John Banks shortly before the 2011 election.

The pair met over a cup of tea, an occasion where reporters were invited as well.

However, Ambrose left his recording device on the table between the two leaders and recorded the whole conversation.

John Key believes Ambrose made the recording on purpose - something the journalist has always denied, saying it was accidental.

Documents filed by the Prime Minister's lawyer say the comments are true and that they were John Key's honest opinion.

The case is the latest development in the saga involving the then ACT Party candidate for Epsom, John Banks, and John Key.

Shortly before the 2011 election, major media organisations were invited to cover the meeting which effectively saw John Key endorsing Banks to Epsom voters in Auckland.

Ambrose was one of the reporters covering the event.


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