A top New Zealand military attache was found guilty on Thursday of attempting to make intimate recordings by planting a hidden camera in a unisex toilet inside the New Zealand embassy in Washington.
“A jury of 12 people at Auckland District Court found Commodore Alfred Harold Keating guilty of trying to film his colleagues on the toilet,’’ Radio New Zealand reported.
The 59-year-old was New Zealand’s top Defence Force official at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington when a covert camera was found by a diplomatic driver in a bathroom on July 27, 2017.
The decorated former assistant chief of navy, who had a 40-year career in the military, categorically denied the charge.
In a statement provided earlier to the New Zealand Herald, Keating said he was “very disappointed to find myself caught up in this incident’’.
“I certainly intend to clear my name and expect this will be achieved in time,’’ he said.
The jury heard that the naval officer’s DNA had been found on the hidden camera’s memory card and that Keating had made Google searches relating to the camera brand.
While the offence happened in the U.S., New Zealand authorities retain criminal jurisdiction over any offence committed by someone with diplomatic immunity such as Keating.
He would be sentenced on June 25.
The charge of attempting to make an intimate visual recording carries a maximum penalty of 18 months imprisonment.