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

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Bernie Sanders Aftermath

Even as Bernie Sanders was celebrating his win yesterday in New Hampshire, the road ahead for the Sanderistas seemed as dark as ever. The notion that the Sanders victory has shaken the Democratic Party to its core and is causing furrowed, worried brows etc among the party mandarins is complete nonsense. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb From The Middle East: Social Control Is Emerging As ISIS (Da’ish) Motive

It is widely recognized that the damage done to our cultural heritage in Syria and to the heritage of those who will follow us, cannot be calculated... Heretofore, three varying but cogent explanations for ISIS’ rabid destruction of our shared cultural heritage have been commonplace. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Myopia Of The Business News

Listening to the business news is a bit like eavesdropping on the radio transmissions from space aliens. There is no discernible connection between the concerns of the captains of these space ships – the bank economists and the finance house spokesmen – and the concerns of ordinary listeners back on Planet Earth. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Clinton, Sanders, Trump And Cruz

Come November, the world will have a new US president-elect and the least unlikely winner still looks to be Hillary Clinton. Right now though, the polls are showing a rocky stretch ahead for her in the immediate future. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Sean Penn And El Chapo - Vanity, Hollywood And Reportage

Leaving aside Sean Penn’s personal history with drug use, let alone alleged efforts to get a slice of celebrity in portraying a drug lord, the furore surrounding his interview with El Chapo is instructive in a few respects. One is worth noting: the blind rage it has provoked with some US political figures and advocates who show how utterly lacking in understanding they are of their own liberal market system... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Podemos, And Spain’s Election Stalemate

By hard grassroots effort, it convincingly rejected the fragmented, individualising forces that had shaped political life for the past few decades – instead, it organized its supporters on the basis of their common, communal experience via collective decision-making aimed at rolling back (a) the austerity-driven cutbacks in public services and (b) the home evictions of those unable to meet their mortgage payments. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Merkel, Refugees And The Cologne Attacks

Huge pressure was already on Angela Merkel’s shoulders prior to the New Year celebrations. When it came in its waves of chaos on the eve, the security services in Cologne were found wanting. The police document from Cologne, leaked to Der Spiegel, speaks of chaos and lack of control. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news