Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

NORML President Found Not Guilty

NORML President Found Not Guilty Of Possession Of Cannabis

Ruling Expected To Impact Police Use Of Search Without Warrant For People Alleged To Have Been Smoking Cannabis.

NORML New Zealand President Chris Fowlie was today found not guilty of possession of cannabis. A written decision delivered by Judge JP Gittos in the Auckland District Court found the charge was not proved on the facts, and also found the search to be unreasonable and the evidence inadmissible.

Chris Fowlie was searched and arrested by the Team Policing Unit on Auckland's Karangahape Road on June 17, 2001 and prosecuted with possession of 0.7 grams of cannabis. He was represented by Auckland barrister Peter Winter.

In a written decision, Judge Gittos said: "On the state of evidence before me my mind is not persuaded beyond reasonable doubt that the Officers were minded to search solely by reason of detecting a smell of cannabis emanating from the Defendant. Nor am I satisfied that it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that proper advice pursuant to the Bill of Rights Act was given to the Defendant before the search was undertaken. In those circumstances, the search has not been shown to be lawful and the evidence derived from it should not be admitted. On the facts therefore I do not find the charge to be proved."

Judge Gittos continued: "The circumstances overall leave an uncomfortable perception that the conduct of what Constable Hoshek described as a "sweep" by a Team Policing Unit may involve Officers engineering opportunities to conduct personal searches of persons minding their own business in a public street at random or on a purely speculative basis. It needs hardly be said that such conduct would manifestly contravene the provisions of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act. I conclude therefore that even had the evidence been such as to prove beyond a reasonable doubt all the requisite formalities, in my judgement the search conducted of Mr Fowlie was unreasonable and the evidence obtained thereby should be regarded as inadmissible. The charge is dismissed."



Mr Fowlie said the ruling would have a big impact on the way Police behave and sends a clear message they cannot ignore the Bill of Rights Act just because they want to look in someone's pockets.

"Police will no longer be able to say they smell cannabis to get around the right to be free from unreasonable search. More than thirty people are arrested every day for possession of cannabis, and many are the result of similar unreasonable searches," he said.

Mr Fowlie urged other people who have had their rights abused to fight the charges in court, and called for the Police's operations manual to be reviewed to put an end to police misbehavior.

-ends-.

Contact:

Chris Fowlie 025 297 6843 Peter Winter: 0274 499987

More information: http://www.norml.org.nz/chrisfowliebusted.htm

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


$1m Compensation Paid: First Gun Ban Event In Christchurch

The Police Minister says the first ever firearms collection event in Christchurch over the weekend was a huge success. But Stuart Nash had concerns about whether the participation reflected the number of weapons in the region.

More than 378 people handed in 542 guns and there was a mixed reaction from firearms owners. The total compensation cost amounted to $1,022,599... More>>

 

Friends Like These: Foreign Minister To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. today for talks with senior members of the US Administration, and to attend the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Aussie Banks’ Latest Fee Hike Excuse

When the Reserve Bank sought feedback on its plans to require the country’s major banks to raise their capital reserves then you might have expected the banks to whine and complain. And so they have. More>>

ALSO:

Sitting On Defence: Terms Of Reference For Defence Estate Review

“The 81,000 hectare Defence estate is at a crossroads; much of it is run down, and outdated,” says Ron Mark. “It needs to be improved in order to gain, train and retain our service people, now and into the future." More>>

ALSO:

Meng Foon: Retiring Gisborne Mayor To Be Race Relations Commissioner

Andrew Little: “He has an outstanding record as a relationship builder and walks comfortably in the pākehā world, the Māori world, the Chinese community and other communities making up New Zealand." More>>

ALSO:

NCEA: Students Granted Qualifications After Fees Scrapped

Almost 150,000 current and former students with unpaid NCEA fees have today been formally awarded their NCEA credits or qualifications. More>>

Medical Cannabis: Consultation On Regulations

More widespread access to medicinal cannabis products is a step closer today with the release of proposals for regulations says Minister of Health Dr David Clark. More>>

ALSO:

Surrendered Under Protection Order, Lost: Nine Firearms Held By Police Disappear

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found multiple failings in respect of the disappearance of nine firearms which were held by Police in Auckland from 28 January 2017. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand First’s Balancing Act

At this point, New Zealand First needs to more than double its current poll numbers to survive beyond Election Day, 2020… but that’s what Winston Peters is so very good at doing, once an election campaign begins in earnest... More>>

RNZ: Asbestos Court Victory Over ACC After Lung Cancer Death

The family of a woman who died of cancer caused by inhaling asbestos says their victory over ACC in the High Court is bittersweet. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels