Friday, 22 February 2008

Police attempt raid on TV3's Campbell Live

Police raided the news offices of TV3 in Auckland this afternoon, after current affairs programme Campbell Live screened an 'interview' last night with a man who claimed to have stolen the war medals from Waiouru.

Police executed a search warrant against the company, seeking information on the identity of the man. TV3 later admitted the interview which played on Campbell Live was actually staged using an actor, who re-voiced responses by the original subject in studio to questions by host John Campbell. (The original interview was conducted in the field using a dictaphone).

Head of News and Current Affairs at TV3, Mark Jennings, met with three Police officers this afternoon, along with John Campbell and the company representatives.

Police confiscated two tapes relating to the broadcast. However TV3 says that after the initial interview between John Campbell and the mystery man, the answers were transcribed from the dictaphone, the original tape was destroyed. Campbell was the only person who met with the man, and wasn't prepared to describe him to police.
United Future party leader Peter Dunne called on police to force TV3 to give up all the information they had on the "mastermind of the theft". However, Jennings claims the broadcaster doesn't know the identity of the man, and would not reveal that information even if it did.

96 war medals (including 9 Victoria Crosses) were stolen from the Waiouru Army Museum last December. They were returned to Police last Friday, after Auckland lawyer Chris Comeskey brokered a deal.

* 3 News: Full interview of 3 News head Mark Jennings discussing police investigation
* NZ Herald: TV3: Police not far from knocking on thief's door
* Campbell Live: Man who claims to be medal thief apologises to nation

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