New Zealand Says Google Broke the Law by Naming Suspect in Grace Millane Murder Case

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Government officials in New Zealand are angry and considering their legal options after Google sent newsletter subscribers information about a murder case last year. The information, including the name and photo of the 27-year-old man accused of the murder, is currently banned from publication in New Zealand, a common practice in some countries where the theory is that suspects can’t receive a fair trial under too much media scrutiny.

The case involves the death of Grace Millane, a 22-year-old British tourist who disappeared in Auckland on December 1, 2018, generating international attention. A week later, the unnamed man was charged with her murder and Millane’s body was found the next day along a roadside.

Google subsequently sent out a British news story about the accused man that called him out by name and showed his photo in a “what’s trending in New Zealand” email. New Zealand’s Justice Minister Andrew Little said that the email violated the court’s suppression order against publishing information about the suspect because it reached subscribers in New Zealand. And he’s not happy about any of it.

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“Officials from the Ministry of Justice first reached out for an update from Google in March this year, following on from the December 2018 meeting I had with Google. Upon receiving no response, they again chased up this week,” Little told Gizmodo by email.

“The response received is unsatisfactory,” Little continued. “Google’s contempt for New…

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