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Blatent Political Interference By Prison

Barrister and Leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, Michael Appleby was today denied access to a client at Arohata Prison. The client, Teresa Aporo is number 13 on the party list and the candidate for Wairarapa. She was sentenced to 2 and half years jail last year for cultivation and possession of cannabis.

Mr Appleby was to make an application this afternoon for bail pending an appeal, and was confident that his client would be released, given that he had successfully appealed a decision of the same judge in similar circumstances.

The authorities at Arohata Prison refused to accept the identification presented by Mr Appleby because of the lack of any photo ID. Mr Appleby produced a copy of a recent news item featuring himself and Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt, and his AA card.

Mr Appleby said "the refusal of the authorities is patently ridiculous, I was given unimpeded access to my client earlier in the week and I feel that the service is blatantly interfering with the political process. My client, and the party's main Maori candidate have been seriously disadvantaged by this vindictive pettifoggery".

Ms Aporo is currently on a hunger strike and a protest against her imprisonment will take place outside the prison at 4pm today.


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