Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Days Three and Four of the Operation 8 Trial

Days Three and Four of the Operation 8 Trial
by Annemarie Thorby


Day Three

On Wednesday the cross-examination by the defence of Detective Inspector Jago took place, followed by three other police officers giving evidence.

The previous day Jago had given evidence that he was the officer responsible for placing cameras in te Urewera during 2006 and 2007 as part of Operation 8.

He made approximately 25 trips to the area over that time.

One of the first questions asked by Tame Iti's lawyer, Russell Fairbrother, was from which direction Jago had approached a wharenui and wharekai in the hills by Ruatoki.

Jago responded that he could not answer that question as it 'could compromise operational methods and numbers involved.'

He also declined to say how many police were involved in planting the cameras.

Justice Hansen, said he would not allow the witness to refuse to answer questions and the jury was asked to leave the court room while a legal argument took place.

When the jury returned, Jago answered the question and confirmed that he approached the two buildings from the Waimana area.

Mr Fairbrother also asked Jago if he was aware of the Confiscation Line, and if he knew what it meant.

He also gave Jago a copy of Judith Binny's book, 'Encircled Land', opened to a map of the Confiscation Line.

Jago said the police made 'no conscious decision' to put the camera on the Confiscation Line and that he had not familiarised himself with the history of Tuhoe during the Operation.

Mr Fairbrother also asked if Jago was aware that the Air Training Corps and the Territorials carried out military training manoeuvres with guns.

He then asked if there was any prospect that the ATC would go to war.

Jago said that he 'would not expect school children to go to war.'

Mr Fairbrother also asked Jago if he knew many employment opportunities around the Ruatoki area.

Jago said he thought work was available in farming and forestry. When asked if he had seen much employment during his visits around the area, he said 'he had not'.

In answer to Mr Fairbrother, he also said he believed Ruatoki was not isolated or remote.

Emily Bailey's lawyer, Val Nesbit, asked Jago about the actual wharenui and wharekai he had mentioned whilst giving evidence. He asked Jago if the buildings looked well-used, Jago confirmed that they did.

There were questions about an oven found by police that they alleged had on one side the outline of a human body painted on it, with a picture of a rabbit on another side. It is alleged that Molotov cocktails had been thrown at the oven.

Detective Myles Horsnell was the next officer to take the stand.

He gave evidence that he had followed Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara around Auckland and he also confirmed that a number of SMS texts had been sent between Tame Iti and Tuhoe Lambert (the defendant who died last year).

Only one defence lawyer, Russell Fairbrother, cross-examined Horsnell and that was to ask Horsnell how he knew that Tame Iti had been one of the texters.

Horsnell responded that it had been information passed onto him by other members of Operation 8.

The middle of the afternoon was taken up with evidence from two other police officers, both members of the Special Tactics Group (STG) and both had name suppression. They talked extensively about the noise of gun shots they had heard whilst placing motion detector cameras and sensors in the bush near the Paekoa track area in November 2006 and January 2007.

The day concluded with approximately 18 minutes worth of video evidence taken in January 2007. It covered several days and showed people moving through the bush and at one stage eating lunch.


Day Four – Adjourned Early

The trial of the four remaining people standing trial as a result of police 'Operation 8' was adjourned early on Thursday.

One of the accused, Urs Signer, is sick and a medical certificate was presented to the court.

The judge apologised to the jury but the evidence of one witness was heard.

The judge explained that the general rule is that the accused person is allowed to be present for trial, but in this case the defendant, Urs Signer, had given permission for one Crown witness to give evidence whilst he was absent.

The witness, Kevin Wallace, a former police officer who had been involved in Operation 8, was in the stand for less than half an hour.

His evidence was that he had followed a car from Auckland to White Pine Bush near Whakatane. In the car was Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara and two others.

Just prior to Tauranga, at Te Puna, the vehicle stopped at the BP station there. The two passengers (People arrested during Operation 8 but who subsequently had all charges withdrawn) went into the supermarket attached to the station. After the passengers returned the car then drove on to White Pine Bush and stopped there.

The three people hopped out of the car and Wallace said it looked like they then got 'bags and stuff' out of the boot.

Wallace then concluded his surveillance of the car.

Defence did not cross-examine and the court was adjourned until 10am Friday 17th February.


Annemarie Thorby is a teacher activist and freelance writer accredited to cover the Operation 8 trial for Scoop.co.nz


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

New HiveMind Project: What Should We Do About Sugar?

While most people agree that increased sugar consumption is a major cause of too many New Zealanders being overweight and obese, what we should do about this remains a matter of debate and argument. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Vladimir Putin’s Wonderful, Fabulous, Very Good Year

Safe to say that no-one, but no-one has had a better 2016 than Vladimir Putin. What an annus mirabilis it has been for him. Somehow, Russia got away with directly interfering in the US election process, such that a friendly oligarch is about to take up residence in the White House, rather than a genuine rival. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On The Media Normalisation Of Trump

We all supposedly agree that the media is going to hell in a tabloid handbasket, but the trends to the contrary can be a bit harder to spot. In his 1970s book The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe had mocked the way the media instinctively acts as what he called The Victorian Gentleman. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: The Reality Of Fake News

Fake news as reality; the inability to navigate the waters in which it swims; a weakness in succumbing to material best treated with a huge pinch of salt. That, we are told, is the new condition of the global information environment. More>>

Alastair Thompson: Helen Kelly And The Compassionless People
I wasn't a close friend of Helen Kelly's. But her passing has moved me to tears more than once in the past two weeks. I feel honoured to be one of the many who worked with her and was helped by her. More>>

Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On News From The US Election Eve

Here’s a somewhat scary headline from October 30 on Nate Silver’s 538 site, which summed up the statistical factors in play at that point: “The Cubs Have A Smaller Chance Of Winning Than Trump Does” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news