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Pilot Garry Sotheran Acquitted – Airplane Phone Addiction – Driver Derk Powell Convicted – OZ: DNA Sample Extraction – Blumsky To Stand Aside – TVNZ News – McVeigh To Fight Death Penalty

PILOT GARRY SOTHERAN ACQUITTED: Pilot Garry Sotheran is found innocent of manslaughter and criminal responsibility for the injury of his passengers . Six years after the crash Garry Sotheran was too emotional to talk about the verdict. The Lawyer said his clients now needed a break. Film from the verdict. Wife Mary Sotheran was overcome. A victim’s mother said she was satisfied with a verdict. Extensive background report. Sotheran was charged in March. His trial took six weeks. For the first time ever the conversation between the pilots involved in the crash was heard by the jury. The Jury went out on Wednesday Afternoon. The costs of the trial will be in the millions of dollars.

AIRPLANE PHONE ADDICTION: The Civil Aviation Authority is getting increasingly worried about mobile phones on planes. Familiarity is breeding contempt with phones. People are getting addicted to their phones. Phones in baggage are also a problem. Back in 1991 John Banks was fined $750 for answering his phone. Recently a woman refused not to use her phone on a flight to Nelson. The CAA says it has a report a plane swerved suddenly when a phone rang in a cockpit bag.

DRIVER DEREK POWELL CONVICTED: After 13 hours deliberations Derek Powell has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a waterfront picketer in Lytellton. The 53 year old boat importer showed no outward emotion when found guilty of the manslaughter of Christine Clark, a picketer on the wharf. Powell’s defence, disputed by police, was that he was being assaulted and was fleeing. Powell will return for sentencing later this month.

OZ: DNA SAMPLE EXTRACTION: Police in Australia have been accused of using excessive force to forcibly extract a blood sample from an inmate. Footage is shown of several officers in riot gear restraining a prisoner to extract a sample. A policeman’s butt stands in the way of seeing the prisoner’s face. Tear gas is used to drag prisoners to give DNA according to lawyers. Lawyers say a refusal for three weeks to supply a sample does not mean that their human rights are suspended.

BLUMSKY TO STAND ASIDE: Wellington Mayor Mark Blumsky has announced he will not stand for re-election as Wellington Mayor. Before he goes he says he is determined to get strip clubs banned from Courtenay Place.

TVNZ NEWS: Another Ross Armstrong complaint is to be investigated. Angela Daudney is “as well as can be expected” after a brain operation. A 67-year-old has also had a brain operation using new technology.

MCVEIGH TO FIGHT DEATH PENALTY: Oklahoma Bomber Timothy McVeigh has sought a stay in his execution. In the past he has told his lawyers not to appeal his death penalty. McVeigh says he now wants to make the FBI pay for their mistake in holding back witness statements, because if he doesn’t, no one will. The Attorney General John Ashcroft has said he will not grant a stay, fortunately however it is not up to him and a Judge will make a decision shortly on the appeal. McVeigh now appears determined to make the authorities squirm, says the reporter.

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