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Crown "Paranoid" Over Sedition Charges

Crown "Paranoid" Over Sedition Charges

The Auckland man charged with sedition and conspiracy charges stemming from an axe attack on the Prime Ministers electorate office last year over the controversial Foreshore and Seabed Act has found support - within the ranks of the government.

"Intentional damage is one thing to be accused of, but to be facing two charges of sedition is bordering on the paranoid," Tim Selwyn said today after his Auckland District Court appearance yesterday set a date of 15 June for a depositions on the matters. "I was heartened to find that I'm not the only one who considers the sedition offence to be an outmoded political crime."

GOVERNMENT MP SAYS SEDITION "PREVENTS FREE SPEECH"

Government back-bench MP and former minister, Hon. Mat Robson (Progressives) has backed the abolition of sedition in the Crimes Act. Commenting on an online election candidate survey posted today Mr Robson said the offence was "a form of control and prevents free speech."

Mr Selwyn agrees with Robson's stance: "the heavy-handed techniques of the Crown today include all of the obscure and repressive tools used against protesters of the past. As long as these conscience crimes remain on the statute books no one is safe. The power pylon protesters of the Waikato may be the next victims."

IRONY NOTED

"The current Prime Minister has stated the politician she most admires is Peter Fraser (Labour PM 1940-49). He was jailed for a year for sedition - as were many other Labour MPs of the time. It adds a certain irony to my predicament," Mr Selwyn observed.

The full survey is on the No Right Turn website: http://www.norightturn.blogspot.com

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