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Louise Nicholas supporters to defend charge

20/06/06

Louise Nicholas supporters to defend charge of breaching suppression orders.

Frances Martin and Daniel Rae, both charged with breaching suppression orders relating to the recent rape trial involving police officers Clint Rickards, Bob Schollum and Brad Shipton, plan to plea not guilty tomorrow in the Christchurch District Courts. They are due to appear at 9.00am on Wednesday the 21st of June and there will be a vigil outside the courthouse from 8.30am.

“The charge is really just a diversion from the important issues raised by the Louise Nicholas case. The endemic scepticism of police towards rape complaints and a brutal and adversarial court process biased in favour of the accused are the real issues the police should be taking seriously,” said Frances Martin.

The two activists will be defending the charge as a matter of principle and in the belief that handing out the leaflets was the right thing to have done.

“There is a public mood for a change to the way rape is treated in New Zealand and we have received widespread support for the stance that the women in Wellington and we in Christchurch took. That support has confirmed breaching the suppression orders was justified” said Frances.

ENDS

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