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Green Party comment on Urewera verdict

20 March 2012

Green Party comment on Urewera verdict

There should be a full and independent inquiry into all aspects of the so called Urewera case once sentencing is completed, Green Party Police spokesperson David Clendon said today.

The "Urewera Four'' have been found guilty of some firearms charges but the jurors were not able to reach a decision on the lead charge of belonging to an organised criminal group.

“This entire affair shows the dangers of legislation such as the Terrorism Suppression Act and the original attempts to deny the accused the rights of a jury trial,” said David Clendon.

“This verdict is a long way from the original charges.

“There needs to be more effort put into community policing whereby Iwi liaison officers work with locals to build bridges rather than the October 15 raids which have left years of heartache and distrust.

“This whole affair could have been resolved using the relationships that existed in Ruatoki prior to the raids.

“Millions of dollars has been wasted on the police effort and in the courts, on the grounds that there was some terrorist plot afoot which has not been proven.

“The Crown should seriously consider an apology to the community of Ruatoki and others caught up in this excessive use of police and government powers,” said Mr Clendon.

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