Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Urewera TV Reality Programme bites the dust.

The Raid;

The Police and the SIS have had their fun, after acting like junior members of the FBI and US Homeland Security bully boys; by dressing up in fancy combat uniforms and scaring the hell out of women and small children and by kicking down doors while armed to the teeth with automatic weapons, and while wearing face masks. Illegally filming NZ Citizens using illegally gained warrants. Their reality TV police / SIS pop show is all but over. Their case costing millions of wasted tax payer’s dollars has been sent off to the rubbish dump. Fortunately they didn’t murder anyone, but they have ruined NZ’s reputation and we are now seen as simply copy-cat bit players in the US style war on terror. They [The Police] were simply too blank to recognise that they were and still are pawns in the effort to gain a free trade agreement with a nation that sees permanent war as a part of its economic recovery and to hell with the rest of humanity.       

This from the October 15th Solidarity Newsletter No. 32 - May 9, 2012

NO RETRIAL! Sentencing date still set for 24 May on Firearms charges.

Wahoo! The Crown filed an application in the High Court this morning announcing that they will not seek a retrial of Taame, Emily, Urs and Rangi on the charge of 'participation in an organised criminal group.'

After nearly five years of stress and struggle, the crown case has well and truly fallen apart. We are thrilled that a retrial will not go ahead.

However, the sentencing date for the firearms convictions is still set for 24 MAY in the Auckland High Court. Please come along if you can.  We intend that these convictions will be thrown out but that may take another appeal before that happens. The Supreme Court decision must now be applied to the remaining firearms convictions and all the convictions must go!

MEDIA RELEASE: Urewera 4: State Nil
DATE: 8th May 2012 - for immediate release
FROM: October 15th Solidarity

"We are relieved," said Ana Cocker from the October 15th Solidarity  Group in response to the announcement that the Urewera 4 will not be  re-tried on Section 98a, 'Participation in an Organised Criminal Group.'

"This decision has been long overdue, in fact the whole case should never have gone ahead. It is now time the firearms convictions against Tame Iti, Rangi Kemara, Urs Signer and Emily Bailey to be thrown out as well."

The raids happened more than four years ago on October 15th 2007, after more than a year of surveillance. 17 people were arrested. On that day they were threatened with Terrorism charges, nearly a month later. Later they were charged with Arms Act offences, and then in October 2008 five people had the charge of Participation added.

"The jury could not be convinced that there was any organised criminal group, and that should have been the end of it."

On March 20th this year, on the third day of deliberations, the jury told the Court that they were hung. They were unable to reach a verdict on the main charge of Participation. The four defendants were convicted however, on approximately half of the Arms Act charges. "Those convictions are based on illegally gathered evidence," said Ms Cocker.

The Supreme Court ruled in September last year that that the covert police surveillance of the so-called camps was illegally obtained. Chief Justice Sian Elias described the police actions as 'extremely serious when assessed against the rights breached.... the deliberate unlawfulness of the police conduct in the covert filming, maintained over many entries and over a period of some 10 months, is destructive of an effective and credible system of justice.' (Chief Justice Sian Elias, Paragraphs 72 & 73 Supreme Court Decision 125 Hamed v. Queen) Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling, the 13 defendants charged only with Arms Act offences had all charges against them dropped. It was not in the public interest and the offending of the police outweighed the seriousness of any of the Arms Act charges.

"The charge of Participation was laid specifically in order that the crown could use the illegally obtained evidence. The crown needed to justify Operation 8 and their invasion and spying on Te Urewera, by bringing convictions at any cost.

"Nothing in this case has been about so-called justice; it is all about criminalising dissent and halting aspirations for Tuhoe autonomy.

"The whole case has been a story of harassment of Ngai Tuhoe, the defendants, their communities, families and supporters," said Ms Cocker.

"It is time to completely end this farce now and for the Arms Act convictions to also be thrown out."

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