Sunday, 28 October 2012

One law for all...

Detective Inspector Grant Wormald

One Law for All…yeah right

What is happening to our police force? Have they been watching too many American movies, too many pulp television programmes?
Sometime back they raided a peaceful village and arrested heaps, but it was found that they broke the law and had to drop the rigged up charges against all but four now known as ‘The UREWERA 4’.

Then they had yet another brain failure and mounted a helicopter military style assault on a NZ resident who had just paid ten millions dollars to the government and who lived in the Prime Ministers electorate and was a good buddy to John Banks an ex police minister who asked for and received fifty thousand dollars from the very same chubby German settler. In the best US Hollywood style the police, with FBI assistance smashed their way in, and armed to the teeth dragged his pregnant wife outdoors…all in the name of Justice peace and good will…and of course US goodwill…

The legal outcome was yet another round of idiotic law breaking by the police, the FBI, the GCSB and the National Party lost its memory.

The GCSB put their secret agent out to work in his garden after the Prime Minister called him a ding-a-ling… but the police had bigger stuff ups yet to be unfolded by their dapper sleuth par excellence DI. Wormald.  

And the man who led the police in this stuffed up operation; Detective Inspector Grant Wormald a name to remember wasn’t long in hitting the headlines yet again..

Detective Inspector Grant Wormald was also accused by Dotcom's lawyers of giving misleading evidence. But wait there is more for this very same DI Grant Wormald organised what I believe will be the biggest police stuff up since the Allan Arthur Thomas jack up. Below is a press release [in italics] from the NZP HQ. My comments in bold:

Statement on Red Devils investigation
Thursday, 25 October 2012, 6:33 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Police 
Statement on Red Devils investigation

Statement from Assistant Commissioner (Investigations) Malcolm Burgess:

Police will reassess aspects of undercover operations following the judgment in the High Court in Nelson yesterday involving the Red Devils gang.

This means the police will decide if they have broken the law, is that legal?

At the time police arrested an undercover officer involved in the investigation into the Red Devils we understood we were acting on the authority and approval the Chief District Court judge.
The High Court has since reviewed this aspect of the operation and found that the actions of police were a breach of the court process.

Breaching court process…according to the police is not breaking the law…yeah right.
We are reviewing our processes to ensure this does not happen again.
However we are discussing our legal options for an appeal against the stay of proceedings given the serious allegations of offending by the Red Devils.
Now for the public relations spin:

Our staff works tirelessly every day, at times involving personal risk, to keep communities safe from serious criminal offending. The undercover programme is an integral part of those efforts to investigate serious organised crime and those who operate outside the law. It is difficult and often dangerous work.
Police are absolutely committed to ensuring the programme operates in a way which puts offenders before the courts while operating within the law.

How come you charged a police undercover agent, found him a lawyer, put him in front of a judge and had him lie during the process…and you still claim to respect the law?

Our review of processes will ensure we do not put police or the courts in this position again. Police appreciate that there is a high level of public and media interest in the details surrounding this case. However, given that Police are considering options for an appeal, we will not comment further at this time.

But wait there is more…from the Police Association President Greg O’Connor, he is the police’s chief union representative…his main role is to defend the indefensible. Sometime back the police association had the tough job of defending a bunch of organised rapists [Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum] who terrorized a victim…thank god he failed, had he succeeded rape could have become a police weapon in the fight against violent crime. Here is a part of his press release [italics]: It is a superb piece of public relations spin: My comments are in bold.  

Throwing out charges punishes public, not Police
Wednesday, 24 October 2012, 4:49 pm
Press Release: Police Association 
For Immediate Release
24 October 2012

Throwing out charges punishes public, not Police
The High Court’s decision to stay prosecution of 21 alleged serious organised criminals is disproportionate and unjustified, and the public will be the real losers from the decision, Police Association President Greg O’Connor said today.

So breaking the law is now OK is it Greg?

The High Court made its ruling because Police had arrested and charged in Court one of its own undercover operatives, in a ruse to strengthen his background cover story amongst the gang members.

So Greg was this undercover agent going to go to prison and carry on his undercover duties?

“Police acted in good faith when taking these measures to protect the agent’s life, and acted with the knowledge and agreement of the then-Chief District Court Judge, Russell Johnson, in doing so. This included following his advice not to inform the local Nelson District Court of the ruse. To have the Court now effectively change its mind is a slap in the face for the agent who put his life on the line for over a year,” Mr O’Connor said.

As it is understood now the Chief District Court Judge did no such thing, which is correct you or the judge…

“Organised crime is serious business. It is a business which its perpetrators may kill to protect. The subterfuge in building a criminal record for the undercover operative was necessary to reduce the very real risk to his life.”
The decision to stay proceedings against the 21 members and associates of the Hells Angels feeder gang, the Red Devils, was also disproportionate and unjustified, Mr O’Connor said.

Is not police crime a serious business, should the police be allowed to break the laws they are sworn to uphold?

“The fact the agent had an artificially constructed back-story did not cause, encourage or enable anyone to offend. They were allegedly doing that anyway. All it did was allow the undercover agent to move in their circles more safely in order to gather evidence. It is unjustified and disproportionate to throw out the charges against alleged serious organised criminals solely because the High Court now takes offence at the subterfuge involved in constructing a credible cover story for the undercover agent.

Are you saying that your undercover agent didn’t commit crimes while he was embedded within the gang…what did he do sit around and read a book!
“In the High Court’s rush to punish Police, they are really punishing the public, who will now see 21 individuals escape trial for alleged serious organised criminal offending, and be left free to carry on their activities. The Red Devils gang will be empowered by this decision and the good people of Nelson will now have to put up with the consequences,” Mr O’Connor said.

I’ll leave the last word on this issue to others…its hard not to agree with them. Police are meant to uphold the law…not ignore it or break it.

Senior police who committed a "fraud" on the court system by faking the prosecution of an undercover officer were bordering on committing criminal acts themselves, legal experts say.
Head of the Canterbury University Law School, Chris Gallavin, said the police actions were "bloody ridiculous".
"It's absolutely abhorrent police would go to such lengths. I can't understand where the police were coming from – it shows naivety in the extreme. I think the court's been quite generous to say there's been no bad faith."

Throwing the charges out was entirely proper, with such a massive abuse of process. "I'd go so far as to say the officers were on the precipice of committing criminal acts."

Auckland University law professor Warren Brookbanks said police had acted "very, very inappropriately. The clear message is it went beyond their brief." 

Police have been left embarrassed by two judges in separate cases throwing out charges against up to 28 Red Devil bikie gang members.

A judge yesterday halted drugs and firearms charges against 21 people because the police staged a fake arrest of an undercover cop. Justice Simon France ruled that the police's actions were "a fundamental and serious abuse of the court's processes".

The decision puts the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand in the firing line again after the controversial raid on the home of internet tycoon Kim Dotcom.

In a second case involving the Red Devils another judge was so concerned about a raid on club premises that he threw out charges against 28 people. Many are among the accused whose charges were dismissed yesterday.

The swoop on a barbecue at the Red Devils Motorcycle Club in Nelson was part of a two-year bid to snare gang members. About 50 people were at the August 2010 function and police suspected liquor laws were being broken.

However, in July this year Judge Chris Tuohy ruled out evidence because it was "improperly obtained" through "a series of breaches of the defendants' rights, some of which were significant infringements".

Officers had obtained search warrants to search the property but not individuals. After finding a small amount of drugs, they searched the party guests. Judge Tuohy said entry was "unlawful and unreasonable" as police chain sawed through fences despite being let through the front gate.

All 28 faced a charge of being on an unlicensed premise.

In the damning judgment issued yesterday, Justice France ordered a stay of proceedings in the prosecutions of 21 people arrested as part of Operation Explorer.

Undercover cop Michael Wiremu Wilson had infiltrated the Red Devils. Police faked a search warrant for a lockup he was renting in May 2010 and "found" stolen property and cannabis paraphernalia. Wilson was arrested and prosecuted - his true identity unknown to the judge, lawyers and court staff.

Earlier this year two officers told the High Court at Nelson they followed protocol by approaching then chief district court judge Russell Johnson, now dead.

Justice France later found the protocol was written after the fake prosecution, and guidelines at the time actually stated: "The police must not allow an arrested agent to appear under a fictitious name without the permission of the court. Deceiving the court is not permitted."

So much for Greg O’Connor and his spinning press release and the rumour that Garth McVicar of the Sensible Sentencing Trust is to become the head of the police compliance team…  

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