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Flag Burners call for court to throw out charges

Flag Burners call for court to throw out charges

Four protesters arrested for burning the New Zealand flag in protest against NZ troops being sent to Afghanistan and occupying Iraq will appear in the Wellington District Court on Tuesday September 7th to face charges of 'disorderly behaviour'. Paul Hopkinson (Porirua), Nick Kelly (Upper Hutt) and Steven Hay (Wellington) are all candidates for Mayor for the Anti-Capitalist Alliance in the upcoming local body elections. Also arrested was Anthony West Wellington antiwar activist.

Paul Hopkinson claimed "the arrests were nothing more than police harassment and were definitely politically motivated against anti-war activists in Wellington."

Hopkinson recently had a conviction of dishounouring the flag overturned on appeal in the High Court. The High Court upheld his freedom of expression in overturning the conviction. The Police arrests last month blatantly ignored the protestors freedom of expression.

In light of the earlier decision of the High Court, all three believed the charges against them should be thrown out by the District Court.

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