Navy of­fi­cer ac­cused of hid­ing cam­era in toi­let

Observer on Saturday - - News - AFP

- One of New Zealand's top naval of­fi­cers is ac­cused of hid­ing a cam­era in the toi­let of the coun­try's em­bassy in Wash­ing­ton in a bid to ob­tain in­ti­mate footage of peo­ple us­ing the bath­room, court doc­u­ments showed yes­ter­day.

Com­modore Al­fred Keat­ing was a se­nior de­fence at­taché at the Wash­ing­ton em­bassy when a covert record­ing de­vice was found in a uni­sex lava­tory in July last year, Judge Grant Pow­ell said.

"It had been pur­posely mounted


in­side a heat­ing duct in the bath­room at a height and di­rec­tion that cap­tured record­ings from peo­ple who ar­rived and used the toi­let," he said in a writ­ten judg­ment re­leased yes­ter­day. The hid­den cam­era was dis­cov­ered when it fell to the floor and a thick layer of dust on its mount­ing in­di­cated it had been in place for many months.

While Keat­ing had diplo­matic im­mu­nity in the United States, po­lice in New Zealand ex­e­cuted a search war­rant on his home seek­ing evidence in the case. No in­de­cent im­ages were dis­cov­ered but po­lice found Keat­ing had in­stalled driver soft­ware for the cam­era.

They also matched his DNA to sam­ples found on the mem­ory card in the cam­era.

Keat­ing was charged with at­tempt­ing to make an in­ti­mate vis­ual record­ing in March and sub­se­quently re­signed from the mil­i­tary.

The High Court re­jected a name sup­pres­sion bid by Keat­ing which ar­gued he and his fam­ily would face "ex­treme hard­ship" if his iden­tity was re­vealed.

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