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Friday, July 27, 2012

Elvis has left the building

A vindication for Tangata Whenua defending their seas:

NZ Herald:  A judge has thrown out charges against a ship captain who allegedly harassed a survey vessel during a protest against deep sea oil exploration off the East Cape.
San Pietro skipper Elvis Teddy, 45, was charged with resisting arrest and operating a vessel in an unsafe manner causing unnecessary risk, after police boarded his protest flotilla ship last April.

The charges relate to an alleged breach of the exclusion zone around the oil exploration vessel Orient Explorer, which was carrying out a survey of the Raukumara Basin for Brazilian oil giant Petrobras.
Defence lawyer Ron Mansfield submitted there was no case to answer because the alleged offending had occurred outside New Zealand's territory.
"There was no jurisdiction to arrest him or charge him with those offences, because they were beyond the 12 nautical miles of New Zealand's territory," he told APNZ.
Judge Treston agreed and threw out the charges.

The NZ government has no authority.

"They used the navy, the military, all their police resources and Crown Law to bully us for their big oil friends, but they were found wanting by their own law.
"It shows tiny iwi and indigenous people can take a stand, and can hold the Government to account. I hope Petrobras and the Government have got the message by now that we don't want deep sea oil drilling in the Raukumara Basin."

Te Whanau a Apanui chief executive Rikirangi Gage, whose iwi was behind last year's protest flotilla, has demanded a response from the Government.
"It looks like the navy and police were being used as private security for Petrobras. We want answers from the Government as to why."

This is a signal victory. Well done to all involved.


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