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Monday, October 29, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: Urewera 4 lose appeal

NZ Herald:
In a decision released this afternoon, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal by Tame Iti, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, Urs Signer and Emily Bailey.Tuhoe activists Iti and Kemara were jailed for two and a half years in May after being found guilty in the High Court at Auckland of firearms offences relating to the 2007 Urewera raids.
Signer and Bailey were each sentenced to nine months of home detention after they were found guilty of unlawful possession of firearms.
At the appeal Iti's lawyer Russell Fairbrother argued the trial jury should have been directed by the judge to the difference between the worlds in which they lived and in which the Tuhoe activist lived.
Mr Fairbrother said there was nothing inherently unlawful in what happened at the camps.
The jury was not directed on what was lawful or not, nor were they directed on each individual charge, he argued.
Kemara's lawyer Gretel Fairbrother said the jury should have been directed on what was lawful, on each individual charge and also on how each individual charge related to each accused.
October 15 Solidarity:
Same old BS! Free Taame Iti - Free Rangi Kemara!

Iti v The Queen: Decison from High Court.
Media advisory
The appellants, Tame Iti, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, Urs Signer and Emily Bailey, were convicted of various charges under the Arms Act 1983. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the charge of participating in an organised criminal group under s 98A of the Crimes Act 1961. (On the application of the Crown, a stay has been ordered of that charge.) The Court of Appeal has dismissed their appeals against conviction and sentence.

The appellants challenged their convictions on four grounds:

1) pre-trial publicity about the case meant they could not have a fair trial;

2) the Judge’s directions as to party liability were incorrect;

3) other aspects of the Judge’s directions were inadequate; and

4) the Crown case on the charge of participating in an organised criminal group did not comprise an offence.

The Court of Appeal held that the pre-trial publicity did not give rise to the risk of an unfair trial. There was a significant time lapse between the publicity and the trial date, and any risk was appropriately addressed by the precautions taken in empanelling the jury and judicial directions. In terms of party liability, the Court held that Judge correctly directed the jury that the effect of the Arms Act was that the defendants had to show it was more likely than not that they had a lawful purpose for possessing the firearms. The other aspects of the trial Judge’s directions were appropriate and did not contain any material omissions. Finally, the jury’s inability to agree on the s 98A charge could not retrospectively affect the analysis which led to the evidence supporting that charge being admitted in the first place.

The appellants challenged their sentences on the ground the High Court Judge sentenced them on a factual basis inconsistent with the jury’s inability to agree on the s 98A charge. The Court of Appeal considered the factual findings reached by the Judge were open to him and that the sentences imposed were within range.


I haven't had time to read the judgement yet, but I imagine that the two prisoners would not have had their hopes up. That doesn't make spending any more time behind bars easy. I'm not sure what the release date is, but probably after Christmas. And all for doing the sort of things that the white right groups can get up to without any hassles whatsoever. They can even broadcast their activities on primetime TV and it's all good - nothing will happen. One rule for them...


At 29/10/12 11:52 pm, Blogger Frank said...

Part of the judge's summation, alone, warrants a re-trial. Or dropping of charges altogether.

How can a judge refer to terrorist activities when none of the Four were charged with such offences? The mind boggles!


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