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Free Man challenges court jurisdiction over him

Free Man challenges court jurisdiction over him

By Tony Allen
November 13, 2012

An activist claiming to be a 'Freeman' was briefly jailed on 12 November at the Auckland District Court for refusing to accept the Courts' legal jurisdiction over him when being charged for allegedly breaking the law when he took part in political protests.

Malcolm Daniel France, 48, of Auckland, faced one charge of obstructing a police officer on 11 October when he tried to prevent police arresting the Member of Parliament and Mana Movement leader, Hone Harawira, whom with six other arrested people and about 25 others had been stopping a house removal company's truck and trailer transport a house to an unknown destination from where it may be sold after earlier being taken from Glen Innes, as part of the Government's reduction of State housing there.France also faced one charge of obstructing police and one of resisting arrest when he and three others on 3 November tried holding a banner across Karangahape Road so that a street party could take place to protest against the sale of State assets.

Magistrate J. Sihnu ordered France (whom acted for himself rather than allow a lawyer to do so) into the defendant's box but when he refused she ordered three police officers to jail him. Like a dead carcass, France, whom was not violent but offered 'passive resistance', was carried by the hands and feet by the three huge police officers into the dock and through to the court cells. Patricia Claridge, who was supporting France, described the police as "disgusting" for forcibly taking France and as acting like a "gang" without patches. She claimed to have been assaulted by a security officer. Sihu then described the event as "chaos" and adjourned the court for at least ten minutes. About an hour later, France appeared before Judge Alison Sinclair in another court room where a duty lawyer offered an apology on his behalf to anyone whom was offended by his opposition to the court's purported jurisdiction.

Sinclair said France, whom she freed on bail, can enter a plea at a hearing on 26 November when the charges will be heard.after he has had two weeks to consider what plea he will make if he wants to make if he chooses to make one.. But France told this reporter he wants to challenge the legal system's jurisdiction over him and, instead, assert that he is a "Freeman'.

France said on 13 November that he was going to the Accident an Emergency Service at Auckland Hospital to have his knee examined by a doctor, as it was injured when the police manhandled him. At the time, in court, France was heard yelling, "You're all assaulting me!"

France is due to appear in court on 14 November on a separate charge of willful damage but he said he was unsure what protest this arises from. At this hearing, France said he plans to take another opportunity to oppose the jurisdiction of the court as part of his campaign to prove that he is 'Freeman'.

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Tony Allen is the editor of 'The People and Independent Free Press' (under construction). He has previously worked for NZPA, Radio Pacific, and South Waikato News, and freelanced for the Listener, NBR, Truth, the Dominion, and NZ Herald.

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