Tagged, Bagged, Gagged
A Sunday newspaper yesterday claimed United States President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Opposition leader John Key were the targets of threats.
According to yesterday's report, the three leaders were discussed as potential targets by those under surveillance during the Special Investigations Group operation.
Prominent Maori, including government department bosses, were among the targets of a simultaneous, multi-pronged terror attack that would have rocked the country.
But criminal procedure expert Scott Optican says it does not necessarily mean terrorism charges will ever be filed. "The offences you allege generate the scope of the evidence that you are allowed to collect relevant to those offences, but it really was just an ordinary search warrant that's issued every day in New Zealand," he says. [...] Optican has also warned against focussing on the word terrorism - which has some scary and negative implications - and to remember that New Zealand is, at this time, simply dealing with an allegation of criminal offending.
It is not fair for police to be speaking about the Terrorism Suppression Act when no charges have been laid under it. [...] Wilson says peace groups and environmental activists groups should not be smeared with the word terror before the Attorney General has been approached to see if terrorist charges should be laid.
Seven Auckland "Terror" Accused Remain In Custody.
Seventeen people were arrested yesterday in Whakatane, Ruatoki, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington and Auckland in an operation involving 300 police officers and the closing of airspace in the Bay of Plenty. [...] The High Court judge has remanded him in custody to reappear in court on Friday, along with the five other Auckland accused.
Scoop re: Tame Iti :-
Judge Davidson also said he expected in normal course of events for another bail application to be heard within a month for the accused.
Terror net spreads wide: Oct 18, 2007 6:37 PM. As the police continue to search homes across the country it seems more and more people are getting caught up in the raids.
Tuesday October 23, 08:47 AM. Police have arrested 17 people since the nationwide raids that commenced last Monday.
Scoop re: Tame Iti :-
This is the only fact concerning his decision that is allowed to be reported. [...] Scoop is unable to report on the content of submissions. [...] the judge ordered the court cleared for submissions by counsel.
Scoop re: the Wellington four:-
Family members of the Wellington accused were banished along with everyone else. [...] “Operation 8” has been so surreal that it was no longer possible to apply normal analysis. [...] family members and supporters, but they were again denied admission. [...] the Judge announced to media alone that he would permit publication of the decision only (no reasons or submissions or indeed anything at all except the fact of a bail hearing and of it failing).
Scoop re: the Auckland seven:-
Each of seven defendants had their cases called separately (one had been transferred to Auckland from Hamilton) - argued that references of 'terrorism' had been thrown around all week yet the police were yet to charge anyone for offences under the Terrorism Suppression Act. [...] Submissions and argument concerning his bail application were suppressed. Further they argued that having their names in the media could damage their reputations in such terms, but without that charge having been laid against them.
And it seems the actions police say they have taken in the name of safety have left some wondering if it is safe to be outspoken in New Zealand.