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Urewera 18 trial date set Date

Media Release: Urewera 18 trial date set
Date: 18 December 2009
From: October 15th Solidarity

A trial date of 8 August 2011 has today been set in the Auckland High Court for the 18 defendants arrested in raids under the Terrorism Suppression Act on 15th October 2007. Five defendants face a charge of “participation in a criminal group” and all defendants face charges under the Arms Act.

“This whole case is completely absurd,” said October 15th solidarity spokesperson Peter Steiner. “It is based on the eavesdropping of people’s conversations that were taken out of context and creatively strung together in police affidavits to have search warrant applications granted. The Solicitor-General David Collins who did an analysis of the conversations from the original transcripts said the conversations were “laughable, not-credible and implausible when put into context.”

“When the operation came to its conclusion on the 15th of October the police didn’t find what they were looking for. They didn’t find it because it never existed “ the whole “terrorism” charge was the work of the highly paranoid anti-terror police squad, the Special Investigation Group. They are pushing on with this case to justify their actions and the waste of time and resources. If there was any legitimacy to this investigation we would be looking at a raft of serious “Conspiracy to commit” charges. But this is not the case. This is a persecution, not a prosecution.”

“Operation 8” was a grotesque attack on legitimate political opposition. The police targeted Tuhoe and tino rangatiratanga activists, environmentalists, union organizers and peace campaigners in a thinly veiled attack on dissent.”

“It is the police who went into Ruatoki armed to the teeth and terrorised an entire community. It is Detective Aaron Pascoe and his Special Investigation Group who should be on trial for violating the law.”

“We demand the charges be dropped immediately against all defendants, and we demand justice for the people of Tuhoe and all those affected by the raids.”


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