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Green Party welcomes Govt back down on Waihopai Three

The Green Party is welcoming today’s decision by the Crown to drop its court action against the three Waihopai peace activists.

Peter Murnane, Adrian Leason and Sam Land were found not guilty in 2010 of charges of burglary and wilful damage of the GCSB’s Waihopai base, but the court found them liable for damages of $1.2 million. Their appeal against this was lost in October last year, leaving the three peace activists with a $1.2 million liability bill. Today’s back down by the Government means the Crown is no longer suing the activists for this money.

“Today’s decision by the Crown to drop this vindictive action against the peace activists is a great victory for these activists who were standing up against spying activity in this country,” Green Party security and intelligence spokesperson Steffan Browning said today.

“It was always vindictive of the Crown to seek this money, knowing full well the three individuals at the heart of this case would be unable to meet the bill.

“From the beginning, the Government should have respected the jury’s decision that found the Waihopai Three not guilty and chosen not to pursue the activists for damages. This whole process has been a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“These activists were campaigning to close down Waihopai, a foreign spy base on New Zealand soil, as an attempt to advance the cause of peace and to draw attention to the spying activity of the GCSB.

“New Zealanders have a right to know about the activity of the GCSB. The Green Party is calling for an independent and thorough investigation of all aspects of security and intelligence activities by New Zealand agencies.”

ENDS

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