Jury out in Urewera show trial
The NZ Police have spent millions - and burnt up an even greater amount of public goodwill - on this case and the so-called terrorists have dwindled in number from 17 to 4. The massive Auckland show trial the Crown had planned was an anti-climax. Now the jury is behind closed doors determining the verdict I guess we can now say whatever we like about it (not that it stopped bloggers or the media before in the deliberate leaking of documents).
Stuff: In the High Court at Auckland today, Justice Rodney Hansen told the jury the fact the case is of high public interest, and focuses on issues that are important to Maori, should not concern the jury.
Justice Hansen said the jury must not worry about the historic nature of the case and stick to finding the facts.
Justice Hansen summarised the elements of different charges faced by the accused.
He said the overarching question in the case was: "what were these camps intended to achieve?"
Or another way of putting it is that to prove a criminal group exists the group must have been engaged in criminal acts. Surely? Not just what they may have done in the future would have been criminal, but that they had already done criminal acts together.
Apart from the alleged possession of firearms and/or ammunition without a licence what was criminal about doing the sort of military/guerilla style bushcraft and training that white power groups conduct without scrutiny or sanction all the time? Nothing. Those activities are not unlawful. I can't see from the evidence presented by the Crown that the threshold exists to convict on the criminal group charge at any rate.
It is in the hands of an Auckland High Court jury. They may be back today because, despite the extended song and dance act by the prosecution, these allegations are (no matter how well evidenced by the Crown) still relatively inconsequential. I can't see a jury wanting to drag this out, it's already been enough of a waste of their time.