Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Urewera 4: State Nil

Urewera 4: State Nil

DATE: 8th May 2012 - for immediate release
FROM: October 15th Solidarity

"We are relieved," said Ana Cocker from the October 15th Solidarity Group in response to the announcement that the Urewera 4 will not be re-tried on Section 98a, 'Participation in an Organised Criminal Group.'

"This decision has been long overdue, in fact the whole case should never have gone ahead. It is now time the firearms convictions against Tame Iti, Rangi Kemara, Urs Signer and Emily Bailey to be thrown out as well."

The raids happened more than four years ago on October 15th 2007, after more than a year of surveillance. 17 people were arrested. On that day they were threatened with Terrorism charges, nearly a month later later they were charged with Arms Act offences, and then in October 2008 five people had the charge of Participation added.

"The jury could not be convinced that there was any organised criminal group, and that should have been the end of it."

On March 20th this year, on the third day of deliberations, the jury told the Court that they were hung. They were unable to reach a verdict on the main charge of Participation. The four defendants were convicted however, on approximately half of the Arms Act charges.

"Those convictions are based on illegally gathered evidence," said Ms Cocker.

The Supreme Court ruled in September last year that that the covert police surveillance of the so-called camps was illegally obtained. Chief Justice Sian Elias described the police actions as 'extremely serious when assessed against the rights breached.... the deliberate unlawfulness of the police conduct in the covert filming, maintained over many entries and over a period of some 10 months, is destructive of an effective and credible system of justice.' (Chief Justice Sian Elias, Paragraphs 72 & 73 Supreme Court Decision 125 Hamed v. Queen)

Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling, the 13 defendants charged only with Arms Act offences had all charges against them dropped. It was not in the public interest and the offending of the police outweighed the seriousness of any of the Arms Act charges.

"The charge of Participation was laid specifically in order that the crown could use the illegally obtained evidence. The crown needed to justify Operation 8 and their invasion and spying on Te Urewera, by bringing convictions at any cost.

"Nothing in this case has been about so-called justice, it is all about criminalising dissent and halting aspirations for Tuhoe autonomy.

"The whole case has been a story of harassment of Ngai Tuhoe, the defendants, their communities, families and supporters," said Ms Cocker.

"It is time to completely end this farce now and for the Arms Act convictions to also be thrown out."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Sharma Chameleon

Gather round the camp-fire, folks. Let me tell you about the Ice Age era of the fourth Labour government, when mean, sabre-toothed tigers like Richard Prebble ranged at large within the Labour caucus. A being so mean and fierce that - legend has it – he once made Michael Cullen cry. So while Labour MP Dr Gaurav Sharma may (or may not) have suffered cruelly at the hands of his colleagues one thing is clear: former Labour whip Kieran McAnulty is no Richard Prebble. If you can be bullied by the likes of Kieran McAnulty, you might need to have your hand held while you cross the road in the political traffic...


Privacy Commissioner: Public Input Sought To Inform Privacy Rules For Biometrics
Privacy Commissioner Michael Webster is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on the use of biometric information in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>

National: Food Prices Climb Taking Kiwis Backwards
Kiwi families continue to battle runaway food prices, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says... More>>

Transport & Infrastructure: Have Your Say On The Future Of Inter-regional Passenger Rail In New Zealand

The Transport and Infrastructure Committee has opened an inquiry into the future of inter-regional passenger rail in New Zealand. The aim of the inquiry is to find out what the future could hold for inter-regional passenger rail... More>>

Government: Creating Sustainable Public Transport For All
Workers and public transport users are at the heart of the new Sustainable Public Transport Framework, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>

Government: Tax Break To Boost Long-term Rental Supply
The Government is encouraging more long-term rental options by giving developers tax relief for as long as the homes are held as long-term rentals, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced... More>>

National: NZ Migrant Arrivals Hit Lowest Mark Since 1990s
Today’s net migration figures show that Labour has failed to deliver the desperately needed skilled migrants they promised, meaning labour shortages will persist into the future, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says... More>>




InfoPages News Channels