Sunday, August 31, 2008

Media ban likely at 'anti-terror raids' hearing

Media ban likely at 'anti-terror raids' hearing
Lawyers for those arrested in controversial anti-terrorism raids last October are expected to request a complete media ban at today's depositions hearing. A ban is already in place preventing media from recording or filming the hearing at Auckland District Court on the grounds that there are serious security issues. Nineteen of the 20 arrested face charges under the Arms Act, with one also facing a cannabis charge. The last person will have his case heard in Tauranga in November. The group was arrested after police raids last October which centred on the Bay of Plenty settlement of Ruatoki. Several of those arrested in the raids are Maori, including prominent Tuhoe activist Tame Iti. Police alleged he was running military-styled training camps in the Urewera Ranges. However, the Solicitor-General ruled against the application from police to charge him and others under the Terrorism Suppression Act. At this week's hearing, the Crown will seek to prove a "prima facie" case against each of the accused to show they have a case to answer before a jury.

This will be a fascinating case, the TSA was a piece of legislation that should never have been passed and was roundly criticized by the Greens and the Maori Party when it went through as a fools piece of legislation that the Police used as a fishing expedition to record evidence that couldn’t be used which was then released to the public via the Dominion Post. I said that when the evidence that was recorded via surveillance as opposed to bugging was released in this firearms case, those photos of activists running around with semi-automatic rifles would go down like a sack of shit with middle NZ. Tama Iti and his merry militia are not terrorists and never were terrorists and I didn’t agree with the Police tactics in land as steeped in grievance as Tuhoe, but I also refuse to go along with activists ever picking up guns.

Guns don’t just kill people, they kill righteous ideas as well.

No comments: