World News

New Zealand Court Names Envoy Charged With Hiding Camera in Embassy Bathroom

Posted May 4, 2018 12:34 p.m. EDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A New Zealand court Friday revealed the name of a high-ranking military envoy who was accused of surreptitiously recording his co-workers in a bathroom at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington.

Alfred Keating, 58, was charged in March after New Zealand police officers traveled to the United States to conduct an investigation, pre-empting a U.S. criminal case from which Keating could claim diplomatic immunity.

Before he resigned in March, Keating was a commodore in the Royal New Zealand Navy. He had been the country’s most senior military attaché stationed in the United States. Upon returning to New Zealand in November, he was charged with attempting to make an “intimate visual recording,” a crime that carries a maximum 18-month prison term if he is found guilty.

According to court documents, a camera was discovered in July in a unisex toilet at the embassy, used by about 60 staff members, after it fell on the floor.

It had likely been in place for months, authorities said, judging by a thick layer of dust on the platform where it was mounted.

Investigators found 19 images of people taken on the day the camera was discovered. All of the people in those photographs were clothed.

A court previously ordered that Keating’s name not be released publicly, but that decision was reversed by a High Court judge in Auckland on Friday. His lawyer argued that Keating’s name should remain secret because his daughter is serving in the navy and could face “extreme hardship” if he were named, Radio New Zealand reported.

Keating’s lawyer said that the case will hinge on determining who placed the camera in the bathroom.

The prosecution claims that Keating’s DNA was discovered on the camera’s memory card, according to Radio New Zealand.

Keating, who retired his post, is awaiting trial while on bail. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge and is next due in court in July.

In March, New Zealand’s second-ranking envoy to the United States was censured by the Foreign Ministry after she tweeted that the Democratic Party needed to get its act together “or we will all die.”