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Urewera 17: Cheers In Court As Wgtn Accused Bailed

Wellington And Rotorua "Terror" Accused Bailed
Two More Names Of Accused Made Public

Reported by Joseph Barratt from Auckland District Court

Claps and cheers were heard in the Auckland District Court this morning when Wellington activist, bicycle mechanic and web developer Ira Bailey was granted bail and it was revealed that the police are not pursuing terror charges against him.

Ira Bailey, 28 - identical twin brother of Rongomai Bailey who was bailed last Tuesday in Auckland - is the first of the four Wellington "terror" accused to have his name suppression lifted. (See also... Julie Webb Pullman: Urewera 17 Profile - Ira Bailey).

Sitting in the Auckland District Court this morning Judge Patrick Treston has made fairly swift progress through the appearances of the so-called Urewera 17. These are the 17 people arrested around the North Island as part of a Terrorism Suppression Act police operation on October 15th.

The accused have all had their cases transferred to Auckland from where they initially appeared, often against their wishes.

The crown has announced the names of the four among the 17 who it is not seeking Terrorism Suppression Act charges against. These are Marama Mayrick, Ira Bailey, Moana Winitana and a person from Rotorua who has continued name suppression.

All four of these accused - who still face Arms Act charges - have now been granted bail unopposed.

This brings the number of bailed "Terror" suspects to seven. Several more "Terror" accused are due to appear this afternoon.

First to appear this morning was Marama Mayrick who was granted bail on Monday 29 October. She was bailed - unopposed - to reappear on December 3.

Aucklander Jamie Lockett then appeared and was remanded in custody till 12th of December for an application for electronic bail to be heard.

The best known of the "terror" accused Tame Iti was next in the dock.

Iti is scheduled to have a bail appeal heard by Justice Williams in Rotorua on November 7. As he arrived in court Iti said "morena" and a public gallery packed with supporters responded in kind, "morena" (Maori for "good morning").

The crown confirmed it is seeking "terror" charges against Iti and he was remanded in custody to also reappear on December 3.

Ira Bailey - the first of the Wellington accused to appear today - then took his turn in the dock.

The judge ordered that name suppression for him be lifted , but that any published photos of him must be pixilated.

Bailey received bail unopposed by police on the same conditions as his twin brother Rongomai namely: 10pm - 6am curfew; not to go to Ruatoki; & not to talk to co-offenders. It is not clear whether this includes his twin brother.

As the decision to grant Bailey bail was announced the public gallery clapped and cheered.

The 3rd of the four arrestees who are not at peril of facing Terrorism Suppression Act charges then appeared. Arrested in Rotorua this accused has had name suppression continued till he reappears on the 3rd of December. Bail was granted unopposed.

A 22-year-old Wellington musician was the next to appear, name suppression was continued and he was remanded in custody to reappear on December 3.

The reasons given for ordering continued name suppression were to prevent undue stress to family members and because release of the name could potentially jeopardise terror charges.

As he left the dock the accused called out "I love you" to someone in the public gallery and received a reciprocal response.

The final arrestee who is not facing terror charges then appeared.

Name suppression was lifted for Moana Winitana a 53-year-old student from Palmerston North, and he too was remanded to reappear on December 3 on charges under the Arms Act.

The court hearing is due to recommence at 2.15pm.


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