Five More "Terror" Accused Get Bail In Auckland
Five "Terror" Accused Get Bail In Auckland
Reported from Auckland High Court by Joseph Barratt
Five more of the "12" terror accused - who are no longer "terror" accused - have been granted bail in the Auckland High Court including the alleged leader of the group Maori Activist Tame Iti.
Cheers from the public gallery were heard as Justice Mark Cooper granted bail to Omar Hamed, 19, of Auckland, Emily Bailey, 30, of Wellington, Valerie Morse, 36, of Wellington and a 23-year-old Swiss national also of Wellington who still has name suppression.
Justice Cooper told the court to settle down and then heard a bail application for Tame Iti which he also granted. Tame Iti like all the 16 defendants in the so-called "Terrorist training camp" case has as one of his bail conditions a prohibition from returning to Ruatoki in the Urewera. However he has been granted an exception to this to attend Marae meetings in an official capacity.
The bail applications today followed the decision yesterday by the Solicitor General not to grant leave for charges to be laid against 12 of the accused under the Terrorism Suppression Act.
All the defendants still face differing numbers of charges under the Arms Act for unlawful possession and use of weapons. The charges carry a potential maximum penalty of 4 years in prison.
There was considerable discussion before the judge about non-association orders and at one point the crown read out some more intercepted communication evidence in support of their argument that Valerie Morse and Emily Bailey should be prevented from communicating with each other. The lawyers unsuccessfully argued that this evidence should not be read out in front of the court given that it is not admissible against the defendants.
The lawyers from Morse and Bailey said that as they had been sharing cells in prison for the past few weeks and they were good friends non-association orders were silly. However this argument was unsuccessful.
More successful were arguments that the Bailey siblings, Emily, Rongomai and Ira - all of whom face arms charges - ought to be able to communicate with each other. In addition to talking to each other these three will be also be allowed to talk to the 23-year-old Swiss national who has name suppression.
Before the hearing the court had a much more cheerful atmosphere than has accompanied other recent court appearances by the so-called terror accused.
At this point four of the 10 people who were in jail this morning remain unaccounted for. It is possible that they have appeared in the District Court for bail applications that Scoop is unaware of.
The remaining accused whose bail status is unclear are Tame Iti's nephew Rawiri Iti, Jamie Lockett and two other men who still have name suppression.