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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightNZ ex-official guilty...

NZ ex-official guilty in embassy toilet camera case

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NZ ex-official guilty in embassy toilet camera case
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Wellington:  New Zealand's former top attache in the US was found guilty on Thursday of planting a hidden camera in a bathroom at the country's embassy in Washington.

Alfred Keating, 59, has been on trial in Auckland District Court this month and faces up to 18 months in prison for attempting to make an intimate visual recording, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The jury delivered a unanimous guilty verdict after four and a half hours of deliberations. Keating will be sentenced on June 25. He was New Zealand's top Defence Force official when a covert camera was found in the embassy in Washington on July 27, 2017.

Because he was a foreign official, New Zealand was responsible for Keating's trial, despite the crime taking place in the US.

The Auckland District Court earlier heard that the camera had been hidden in a heating duct and was found by an embassy worker when it fell onto the floor.

The man initially thought it was a memory drive, but then noticed a tiny camera lens and the brand of the camera, BrickHouse Security.

Keating's DNA matched traces found on the SD card in the camera, which appeared to have been in place for many months. A homemade mount was also found taped under the radiator, covered in a layer of dust.

Investigations of his laptop showed he had accessed the website of BrickHouse Security, a company which sells hidden video cameras. 

The camera was sent back to New Zealand for investigation by the police, who found over 700 deleted files and 20 existing files on the memory card. They found 19 images of people using the bathroom over a period of five hours.

Keating had pleaded not guilty to the charges. He also sought to have his name suppressed, arguing that revealing his identity would cause his family "extreme hardship". The request was dismissed.

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