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If Labour won't give Vaimauga medal the people can

If Labour won't give Vaimauga a medal the people can

Stephen Franks Monday, 8 August 2005 Press Releases - Crime & Justice


ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks today called on the Police Minister to apologise to Michael Vaimauga and ensure reimbursement for all the wages lost through seven court appearances, after he was prosecuted instead of the burglar he caught and held for the police.

"People like Mr Vaimauga deserve medals but don't hold your breath. The police spokesman on TV One's Sunday program last night must have shamed most front-line police. Sadly he was simply parroting George Hawkins' line. You can see it in the answers to my Parliamentary questions on the ACT website.

"If the government won't give such heroes a medal, New Zealanders can do something more practical instead. Like me, people outraged by the injustice seen on television last night can send cheques made out to Michael Vaimauga to my office and I will ensure that he gets them.

"I know that he will not say no, though he had no thought of reward. He could not afford the lost wages and accepted legal advice to plead guilty because he was told a fine and discharge without conviction was the best deal he was likely to get in the face of police determination not to allow diversion, and to press the charges.

"The courts and Justice Minister Phil Goff should also share the blame, but until the court deigns to allow anyone to see the court file we can't say exactly why the citizens arrest communities in sections 35 to 39 of the Crimes Act seem to have been overlooked," Mr Franks said.

ENDS

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