Not with a bang but a whimper

Written By: - Date published: 7:14 pm, March 20th, 2012 - 86 comments
Categories: law and "order" - Tags:

So, from a 300 police raid and headlines screaming ‘Police foil paramilitary plot’ to, 5 years later, 4 people convicted of half a dozen firearms possession charges each. I’ll admit, the SIS and Police carved a compelling narrative from their video footage but the evidence just wasn’t there and clearly the jury, like the public, just don’t trust the SIS given its track record.

I can’t see there being any jail time coming out of half a dozen firearms possession charges given that there’s no associated offending. Especially after all the shit the State has put these people through for 5 years. Can’t see a re-trial on the criminal organisation charges, either. If they do, it will just be a desperate face-saving exercise for the SIS.

86 comments on “Not with a bang but a whimper”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    I guess it depends on whether they are retried on the main charge where a verdict could not be reached.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      The crown might ask for a retria, but given the time delays and everything else, they might get told ‘nah you’ve hassled these people for long enough’

      • alex 1.1.1

        That they have, the Urawera 4 deserve a chance to simply get on with their lives. It’s been 5 years after all. Besides, is there any chance a 2nd jury would come to a different conclusion? http://afinetale.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/it-was-years-ago-let-it-go.html

        • Populuxe1 1.1.1.1

          That they have, the Urawera 4 deserve a chance to simply get on with their lives. It’s been 5 years after all. 

          The whole point of the criminal justice system is that if they are found guilty of (in this case) serious firearms charges, or indeed choose to appeal, or retrial is approved, they don’t get to simply get on with their lives. The law must be satisfied.

          Besides, is there any chance a 2nd jury would come to a different conclusion?

          If there is a retrial, clearly there is a chance. There is still a big chunk of the population who regard what the “Urawera 4” were doing with great suspicion.
          And linking to your blog, unless you actually have some profound new insight, angle or information, is just transparent link-whoring.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            There is still a big chunk of the population who regard what the “Urawera 4″ were doing with great suspicion.

            “Great suspicion”? That’s media driven pap.

            The Crown contended that the whole lot of them (not just these 4) were involved in a massive and violent organised criminal or terrorist enterprise; however the court has found that is not the case at all.

            • Populuxe1 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “Great suspicion”? That’s media driven pap.

              Funnily enough your suspicion of the media has very little effect in swaying popular opinion.

              The Crown contended that the whole lot of them (not just these 4) were involved in a massive and violent organised criminal or terrorist enterprise; however the court has found that is not the case at all.

              I never said that it wasn’t silly – I am merely stating a fact about public opinion as evidenced in many places on the net and elsewhere, including here. This is New Zealand – public opinion and court verdicts bear very little relation. And unless you are telepathically connected to the Jury, you have No fucking idea how it was split at all. Smarten up.

              • Colonial Viper

                You’re the one referring to media pap driven “public opinion” as if it should be a primary driver of what the Crown and the Courts should decide.

                Given that, perhaps it is you who should “smarten up”.

                Come on Kahn. I’m laughing at the superior intellect.

                • Populuxe1

                  Kahn? Star Trek reference?
                  No you silly, tedious little man – I am referring to the effect of the media on a second JURY – the 12 men and women of good character

                  • framu

                    but (in theory) a jury isnt allowed to be influenced by the media – it can only consider the evidence presented in the trail at hand

                    im not sure where your going with this

                    first its the justice system, then public opinion matters, then it doesnt, then the court verdict doesnt matter, but a second jury verdict does

                    perhaps it im a bit “pre-coffee” at the mo – but your going in circles

      • Inventory2 1.1.2

        It’s not a question of the Crown ASKING for a retrial PB; it is up to the Solicitor-General to decide whether or not to proceed with another trial.

        And in view of Russell Fairbrother’s comment on the TV last night that a hung jury “was the best we could have hoped for”, I would suggest that the Crown will indeed try the defendants one more time.

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.2.1

          I was always under the impression that the crown had to seek the leave of the court to have the case retried. The AG acts on behalf the crown and decides whether or not to seek a retrial.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.2.1.1

            That would be the solicitor general. If leave is required it would seem to be pro forma. But could be something the defence could appeal

  2. the sprout 2

    and how many millions of dollars, thousands of police hours and abrogations of civil liberties did all that cost? 

    and to achieve what exactly?

    ‘justify’ certain budgets and extensions of powers?

  3. freedom 3

    “The public gallery, which has been full since the first day of the trial six weeks ago stood as the various charges were read out and the juror forewoman read out the verdicts.”

    when you have such immutable acts of solidarity that clearly reflect the nation wide support these people have, then any further actions taken by the State would have to be very carefully considered.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10793370

    • Populuxe1 3.1

      Crap. All that it suggests is there are a lot of people curious about the case. Even if the gallery were crammed full of supporters, it would say diddly squat about national opinion. Furthermore the judiciary has nothing to do with the State in the sense you imply – they are independant and unlikely to be intimidated.

      • felix 3.1.1

        “Furthermore the judiciary has nothing to do with the State in the sense you imply”

        What sense is that? I don’t see freedom implying any link at all.

        • Populuxe1 3.1.1.1

          No, you’re right – I phrased that badly.
          I mean that it’s entirely up to the Judiciary as to whether to allow a retrial. The implication that the State would pursue anything else is just stupid because legal process must be observed.
          My other comments stand

          • freedom 3.1.1.1.1

            read what i wrote, i was not referring to the fact that there were a lot of people but the actions of those people. When people stand to hear the reading of a jury verdict it is an implicit act of support for the defendants, the gallery knew exactly why they stood, and I suspect you do as well.

            As for the State not having influence towards the function of the judiciary on cases of significant national interest?
            i have a couple of bridges in the Gobi to sell you.

            • Populuxe1 3.1.1.1.1.1

              And I’ve got a New Zealand Constitution Act of 1986 to sell you. Regardless, the fact that most of the gallery stood is no accurate indicator of what the rest of the country thinks – especially as anyone in the gallery is likely to have a specific vested interest in the case.

              • freedom

                maybe the symbolism of the gallery action escapes you, but the queues out the door at every screening of Operation 8 up and down the country most certainly show the nationwide level of support expressed outside of the MSM carbon copy stories.
                http://cutcutcut.com/Operation8.html

                do not forget the how and the why this whole beat up occurred, moral hysteria.

                as for your claim of serious firearms charges . . ( which are repetitive counts of the same offense) there are hundreds of households all over NZ which have unlicensed or improperly licensed firearms or put firearms in the hands of people who are not licensed to use them, including the hands of innocent children

                the only charge with any possible merit is the one relating to the construction and holding of a Molotov cocktail, and i can think of any number of bonfire parties over the years where that event has entertained and thrilled a lot of people with nary a glimpse of revolution, except maybe towards whoever was being dictator of the stereo

                • Populuxe1

                  maybe the symbolism of the gallery action escapes you, but the queues out the door at every screening of Operation 8 up and down the country most certainly show the nationwide level of support expressed outside of the MSM carbon copy stories.
                  http://cutcutcut.com/Operation8.html
                  do not forget the how and the why this whole beat up occurred, moral hysteria.

                  As I recall, Operation 8 presents the story from two parallel fictionalised perspectives. It’s popularity had a lot to do with being topical and people are naturally going to be curious. Stop talking out your arse.

                  as for your claim of serious firearms charges . . ( which are repetitive counts of the same offense) there are hundreds of households all over NZ which have unlicensed or improperly licensed firearms or put firearms in the hands of people who are not licensed to use them, including the hands of innocent children.

                  In which case they should be charged as well. The law applies to all equally. Stop talking out your arse.

                  the only charge with any possible merit is the one relating to the construction and holding of a Molotov cocktail, and i can think of any number of bonfire parties over the years where that event has entertained and thrilled a lot of people with nary a glimpse of revolution, except maybe towards whoever was being dictator of the stereo

                  Aw, cute story bro. How old were you when these shenanigans took place? Late teens? Early 20s? Not really the same thing at all. Stop talking out your arse.

  4. Mariana Pineda 4

    Maybe the same thing will happen with DotCom. Our police appear to overstate the case dont they. I guess they watch too much TV and too many action films and havent got over their childhood fantasies yet.

  5. Bored 5

    Good stuff, the legislation should never have been passed. What a farce.

  6. burt 6

    OK, interesting quandary. Legally I’m sure the choices are somewhat can and can’t. It’s not really that simple though is it.

  7. Populuxe1 7

    I am pleased to see appropriate firearms charges were laid, because I do regard that as serious.
    And nothing’s cut and dried at this stage – a retrial is being considered.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/6606576/Urewera-jury-return-decisions

  8. prism 8

    I am just reading a short story by Eric Ambler and it lays out what gets done when the army and other forces can organise together to take over a government. It’s all down in black and white in this story printed in 2003 so it’s not just a secret that Tama Iti and his compatriots share.

    Ambler describes the motives…if the country were to be saved from corruption, Communist subversion, anarchy, bankruptcy, civil war, and ultimately, foreign military intervention, (the President) had to go.
    Then he describes the method. ‘The tactics employed by the Liberation Front conspirators followed the pattern which has become more or less traditional when a coup is backed by organised military forces and opposed, if it is opposed at all, only by civilian mobs and confused, lightly armed garrison units.
    As darkness fell, the tanks of two armoured brigades together with trucks containing a parachute regiment, signals units, and a company of combat engineers rolled into the capital. Within little more than an hour, they had secured their major objectives. Meanwhile, the Air Force had taken over the international airport, grounded all planes, and established a headquarters in the customs and immigration building. An infantry division now began to move into the city and take up positions which would enable it to deal with the civil disturbances which were expected to develop…’

    Easy peasy. I wonder if the Fijians and Syrians have read Ambler too.

  9. muzza 9

    What a total waste of time and resources….the outcome was always going to be this way…

    The muppets running this country, and I include those on the strings are taking the people for a ride. This was a attempt of the very worst kind to try manufacture some sort of terror threat in NZ, and give it a local slant…Wonder what the next beat up will be!

  10. Tc 10

    Wonder if tama iti wasn’t involved whether it would have come to this at all, the SIS seem to be big on assumption and light on hard evidence or they would’ve nailed it after getting shonkeys mob to retrospectively allow in some very poor police work.

    I’ve been told the police hate being told by any govt how to do their job, but this one seems to let the police tell it how to do theirs…..muppets at least are funny.

    They were never going to back down they’re immature in that way and don’t like admitting oops we got that wrong, sorry.

  11. Nick K 11

    …and clearly the jury, like the public, just don’t trust the SIS given its track record.

    No one knows that. The Jury could have been split 9-2 in favour of conviction but the last juror held out. We may never know the jury split. And the case went through many pre trial hearings where defence tried to throw the case out for lcak of evidence, but it went to trial. So arguing here there was a lack of evidence is a little strange.

    • lprent 11.1

      Could have also been 6-5. Depends on just what the jury considered to be a majority verdict.

      Is going to be interesting when the arms charges go to appeal. From the reports of the trial I can’t see how a guilty verdict could have been made on the evidence for some of the arms charges. An appeal would be on individual cases and with judges who tend to dislike all of the bumpf the prosecution added in away from the charges.

      • Te Reo Putake 11.1.1

        I think NZ law only allows 12 nil, 11-1 or 10-1, LP.
         
        I don’t think appeals against the convictions are going to be successful, by the way. There is pretty overwhelming evidence for the lesser charges. However, there are bound to be appeals against the sentences, when they come. Particularly if there is jail time involved, which the prosecutor indicated this morning could be the state’s preferred outcome.

      • Lew 11.1.2

        Fairbrother was on the wireless this morning saying the Arms Act charges would not be appealed.

        L

        • lprent 11.1.2.1

          Interesting. For just his client or for all of them? I presume it was Morning report?

          I can understand the issue. It is a hell of an ask after 5 years of trying to get this to a fair* trial, to then go on for years more.

          * Most of the delay was from strange charges, lousy evidence and procedures used by the police and prosecution team to cover the arse of the mind-reading idiots in the police. If the police had just concentrated on the only real charges (ie arms charges) that they had in the first place and had taken the public humiliation of screwing up and inflating the operation 8 – then this would have been over 4 years ago. As it is, I suspect that it will still continue for some time.

    • muzza 11.2

      “where defence tried to throw the case out for lcak of evidence, but it went to trial.” Argh, ok then, so the prosecuters are in the habit of the pulling back when evidence does not support their case…give up!

      I’ve been involved in cases where the police push on regardless to the detriment of all involved, and the cases have gone to court, and similar end results to this…..waste of time, chasing a beat up is all this ever was…What amateurs they make themselves look like chasing someones directives, in a tragic attempt to scare kiwis….looks like it worked on a few whimps, however, most people are not that bloody stupid!

  12. framu 12

    just as a bit more info

    from NRT

    “Four and a half years after the initial raids, the jury has finally reached a verdict in the trial or the Urewera Four, finding them guilty of some of the firearms charges, but failing to reach a verdict on the core charge of “participation in a criminal group”. On the former, its worth noting that this crime has a reverse onus of proof;”

    so from the start they were guilty on this charge – yet the evidence from the prosecution wasnt robust enough (or the defense evidence was strong enough) for the jury to not reach a unanimous or majority decision.

  13. framu 13

    mods – please delete my last comment – definately reading that wrong – definately pre coffee.

    delete function doesnt seem to work (using win 7 and chrome)

  14. It’s obvious there’s divided opinion on this, if you add up the comments here and on Kiwiblog – and if you note the jury verdicts.

    It’s obvious the police didn’t handle the case particularly well, and were served up a legal reality check.

    But it should also be obvious that what was happening in the Ureweras was a cause for concern.

    If some violent action had eventuated and the police hadn’t oprevented they would have been criticised much more than what they are being criticised for the handling of the investigation and arrests.

    Regardless of possible appeals and sentences we have better clarification of surveillance laws, and hopefully the police have learnt some lessons on how to deal with this sort of thing.

    And any groups who thought they might like to start a violent political campaign should also have got the message that it’s not the done thing in New Zealand.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      It’s obvious there’s divided opinion on this, if you add up the comments here and on Kiwiblog – and if you note the jury verdicts.

      Adding the comments from The Standard AND Kiwiblog together as if they can form some kind of valid average. That’s an innovative one.

      • Pete George 14.1.1

        I didn’t claim it was an average, but it can be an interesting indicator of opinion on both sides of the political divide.

        Curious why opinions seem to be tending binaryleft/right on this, I thought it was more of a degrees of right/wrong sort of issue.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          Right wingers love to see Maori get smashed by authoritarian force regardless of the judicial and legal merits of the situation.

          • Populuxe1 14.1.1.1.1

            The suggestion that everyone on the right is a racist (or indeed no one on the left being racist) is a load of flatulence. At least try to stay on the same planet as the rest of us.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Well I was probably speaking about the twisted sample from Kiwiblog, which PG was talking about.

              • Populuxe1

                You are still assuming that because someone is so undiscriminating as to read drivel like Kiwiblog, that they must also have it in for Maori. At least a few Maori of my acquaintance are dedicated National voters. Attacking bigotry with bigotry is a peculiar logic.

                • felix

                  “You are still assuming that because someone is so undiscriminating as to read drivel like Kiwiblog, that they must also have it in for Maori.”

                  He’s done nothing of the sort.

                  Why do you keep making shit up and accusing other people of thinking it, Pop?

                  • Populuxe1

                    “Right wingers love to see Maori get smashed by authoritarian force regardless of the judicial and legal merits of the situation.”

        • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.2

          If that kiwiblog thread is any indication, the binary has to include the word ‘Racist’ on the one hand, or possiby, ‘pig ignorant’, or mayhap ‘paranoid’.

          But yeah, god knows why it’s left right.

          Unless the right has used paranoid, pig ignorant, racist, dog whistling in any strategic way for the last few decades; I just can’t make any sense of it.

          • John 14.1.1.2.1

            I think this is a case where due to its legal complexity and the amount of evidence involved it is very difficult to get a clear picture of the case and what went on in the court room. I have had lawyers involved in the case say they only think that a total of 4 or 5 people (a few defendants and one or two cops) are completely familiar with the case.

            I think its worth holding this in mind when discussing the case.

          • Populuxe1 14.1.1.2.2

            Do you get headaches trying to force a complex and diverse world into your little binary ideological mindset?

            • muzza 14.1.1.2.2.1

              I would have thought it harder for you find space for critical thought between the obvious paranoia of mythical terrorism…but there you go!

              • Populuxe1

                I’ve said it before, but I’ll repeat it because your skull is so thick that it’s difficult to get new ideas in and impossible to get old ideas out.
                I do not think that these people were terrorists. I think they were idiots playing sill buggers with guns and therefore a serious danger to themselves and others.

            • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.2.2.2

              I’m not sure what you are getting at pop, though I’ve noticed you do seem to leap in and try to demonstrate your own intellectual superiority when a little reading of the thread and some thought about context would serve you better.

              But do go on, explain what my ideological mindset is, I could use a laugh.

              • Populuxe1

                Not really, I’m a compulsive contrarian.
                 
                But yeah, god knows why it’s left right.
                 
                Unless the right has used paranoid, pig ignorant, racist, dog whistling in any strategic way for the last few decades; I just can’t make any sense of it.
                The thing that I find annoying is that by implication you are suggesting that the Left does none of these things and that the Right is incapable of being fair to Maori. Even in the relatively enlightened 21st century the Foreshore and Seabed Act was a racist piece of legislation enacted by a Labour government with a considerable amount arrogance, ignorance and dog whistling, and repealed by a National government. And are you telling me that Helen Clark’s “last cab of the rank” jab was anything less?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Fascinating.

                  The thing that I find annoying is that by implication you are suggesting that the Left does none of these things and that the Right is incapable of being fair to Maori.

                  You might have become annoyed by my comment, I’ll take your word at that, but it wasn’t from anything I implied. It was an inference you drew, presumably about me, and presumably stemming from your instinctual contrarianism. I said that the right has done things. That certainly doesn’t imply that the left does not. It might, at a stretch, imply that the right does it more than the left.

                  Even in the relatively enlightened 21st century the Foreshore and Seabed Act was a racist piece of legislation enacted by a Labour government with a considerable amount arrogance, ignorance and dog whistling, and repealed by a National government. And are you telling me that Helen Clark’s “last cab of the rank” jab was anything less?

                  My views on the FSA are all over this blog, going back several years.Ii think you’ll have some luck searching phrases like ‘I’ve voted Labour precisely once’ and ‘good and drunk’. Things along those lines.

                  But seeing you raised it I’ll say it again. Yes, it was shit legislation, and it made me feel sick to feel the best thing to do in that election was to vote Labour for the first, and so far only, time. I got good and drunk before toddling dowm to the polling booth.

                  The reason I felt it was the best thing to do was because the greens looked like they were on the cusp of not making it, and Labour was the only chance of keeping Brash out.

                  You are quite correct that the FSA was a racist piece of crap, and that the split with Turiana was some ugly shit. But what you don’t mention, is what the National party was doing at the time.

                  You say “anything less”, and no it was not less than racist. But there was a heaping helping of fucking daylight between what labour was saying and had done, and what Brash/Key/English/Brownlee et al were saying and promising to do. So Labour was far, far less ignorant racist, arrogant etc, than National.

                  Do you not recall that National was campaiging on an argument that Labours racist piece of shit wa “‘giving the beaches away” Do you not recall the iwi/kiwi billboards? Have you forgotten that National was going to nationalise the beaches, abolish the ministry of Maori affairs, scrap the seats, and remove all references of ter principles of the treaty from legislation? Has it never occured to you that National almost won on that platform, and what that means it terms of what Labour’s dogwhistling, despicable as it was, did?

                  Labour appeased the rednecks with the FSA. I hate that. But I got good and drunk and voted for it. I voted for it because of what the actual existing realistically threatening alternative was.

                  If you had of looked at the kiwiblog thread we are discussing, before leaping in with your contrarain inferences, you might have seen that one John Ansell was weighing in. Remember him? Know his role in the debate around the FSA?

                  Care to tell me what my ideological mindset is?

                  Or are we done?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Got a comment in moderation if there’s a mod in the house. Chur.

                • Adele

                  Populuxe

                  Are you suggesting that the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act is, somehow, superior to the previous Act? Many on the ‘other’ side would say, to use your terminology, it’s also ‘racist.’

                  But then, what would I know – I am just a Māori.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    I hope the trite assumptions he’s been using to feed his contrarian mindset haven’t given him a headache.

        • Populuxe1 14.1.1.3

          Because he’s an unreconstructed Marxist and hysterically blind to anything that contradicts his worldview.

          [lprent: If you swap out the word marxist and add in one of my favoured words for describing the intellectually challenged commentator* and “badaH!” – you can see yourself in the mirror.

          But it sure doesn’t describe PB…

          * I’m trying to learn better phrases to describe the more ‘challenged’ commentators who irritate me while reading than phrases such as dipshit, fuckwit, dork, and gormless fool. ]

          • felix 14.1.1.3.1

            Lynn,

            The best word I picked up while watching Peepshow is “shitmuncher”.

            • lprent 14.1.1.3.1.1

              I think that Jonathon Swift was about the best name creator.

              I’ll never forget reading his description of flappers and the need for them and being amused by it. When somewhat older, I was introduced to the history that he was satirising, I nearly had an early heart attack for an excess of laughing…. 😈

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 14.1.1.3.1.2

              Once again, I am going to have to passionately disagree with you. The best term of abuse Peepshow has taught us is: pisskidney.

          • Populuxe1 14.1.1.3.2

            I have more sense than to argue with a moderator, but I wish you could see my middle finger right now.

            [lprent: 😈 that’s ok. Unlike the police, I don’t care what you think or what you might potentially do. I care about what you actually do on our site.

            But that note was more of a observation that should have really been in a comment (I saw it whilst moderating) than a moderators note of direction.

            My apology for my distracted laziness. ]

  15. John D 15

    Hey I followed the case closely and their has been little/no evidence of SIS involvement to my knowledge. I’m sure there was some but this case was primarily driven by specialist police units such as the TAU, SIG, CTAG, the police elite armed unit etc

    The SAS went and had a look at one camp but came back and said it was a matter for the police to sort out ie it did not need a counter terrorist unit to sort it out.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      The SAS will be very pleased with their judgement about non-involvement right about now. Bloody civvies screwing things up.

  16. I know that this is the natural home of the Left-leaning, but have commenters forgotten that the camps referred to took place through 2006 and 2007, and the arrests took place in late 2007? The Terrorism Supression Act, which the Solicitor-General declined to approve charges under, was passed in 2002.

    This whole business took place under Helen Clark and Howard Broad’s watch. If there was ineptitude on the part of the State, that is where fingers ought be pointed.

    • lprent 16.1

      Personally I’m mostly pointing to ineptitude in the police. Read the police act. The amount of influence that the governments have over operational decisions is legally pretty minimal and largely confined to funding of new initiatives. Even when the governments cut the police budgets, it tends to be more done by not increasing it with inflation.

  17. vidiot 17

    One does wonder if the inadmissible video evidence would have changed the outcomes if viewed by a jury. We shall never know.

  18. Russell Brown gives what looks like a good well informed summary to me. Police overdoing things but bravado idiots playing with firearms could have hurt something if nothing had been done about it.

    Hard News: Time to move on

    These guys weren’t heroes and they weren’t terrorists. They were dickheads. They revved up each other with cries of war and blood.

    Valerie Morse’s customary raging self-regard slipped deep into disingenuousness in her Morning Report interview today. She would have been better to break with form and simply simply shut up. There really is no good explanation for some of what she and others did.

    Another element of the defence case rings truer: that these people couldn’t possibly have been part of an organised criminal group because they were plainly such fools.

    Potentially dangerous fools.

    The police, too, were fools. I think it’s almost beyond doubt that they got caught up in their own narrative. They wanted a terrorism bust in the age of the War on Terror, under the new Suppression of Terrorism Act.

    I do think that what was going on warranted police attention, not because there was any chance of these clowns overthrowing the state, but because there was a reasonable possibility of someone getting hurt.

    I agree. It’s time to sentence them for what they have been found guilty and move on.

    • felix 18.1

      ‘… or could I get away with linking to Russel’s post from a post on my own site, then linking to that instead? Seems an awful waste of link juice not to… ‘

      – Pete’s internal dialogue @ ~10:49

      • Pete George 18.1.1

        “…how can I come up with some inane criticism that has nothing to do with the comment…”

        – felix’s internal internal dialogue @ ~11.07 am

        Seems an awful waste of comment juice felixtroll.

  19. Kevin 19

    The Police may have crafted a “compelling narrative” with their video evidence, soliciting an emotional response at first viewing, but failed to carry it off in the courtroom where the evidence was scrutinised more closely.
    The fact that the jury did not return a guilty verdict demonstrates that the Police case was simply not compelling enough for the jury to unanimously convict the defendants on the charge of belonging to an organised criminal group, the principal charge behind this hearing.
    On the basis of that, the Crown will have to decide in the next few days whether to pursue a retrail. There is every possibility that they may lose again and in doing so could become the object of ridicule or worse a Commission of Inquiry into their actions.

  20. Fortran 20

    I would rather see a better balance of Jurors – next time (if there is one) – try 6 women and 6 men, not 10 women and 2 men.

    The media have taken on Tama Iti as a Maori Robin Hood, in which such things can tend to influence anybody, including Jurors subconciencly.

    • Populuxe1 20.1

      The media have taken on Tama Iti as a Maori Robin Hood

      When did that happen? – usually they portray him as a self-aggrandising, attention-seeking buffoon.

  21. deemac 21

    some people obviously regard being convicted on firearms charges – in a country with very lax gun laws so it’s easy to own firearms legally – as a minor matter. I do not, and I suspect most NZers don’t either.
    Do we really want to live in a country where idiots feel free to run around firing guns?
    And all law is “technical” so being convicted “on a technicality” is how it works.
    After all, most of the police evidence was disallowed “on a technicality.”

    • Populuxe1 21.1

      “a country with very lax gun laws so it’s easy to own firearms legally”
      Do you actually have a clue what you are talking about? The process of getting a firearms license in New Zealand is a complex matter, and the laws around how guns and ammunition are to be stored and transported are specific and strict. That’s why we don’t have anything like the gun deaths you see in the US.
      http://www.police.govt.nz/service/firearms/arms-code.pdf

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.1

        That’s why we don’t have anything like the gun deaths you see in the US.

        That and a completely different culture, history and attitude to firearms to that of the US.

        • Populuxe1 21.1.1.1

          As manifest in our gun laws, CV? Just possibly? Which is a key difference between the US and us?

  22. Kotahi Tane Huna 22

    Nice one Tom Scott.

  23. Yodel 23

    from what i can see the defence was that the video footage is of people learning the basics of vip protection. the crown rejected that initially until its primary military witness did not dismiss it as a possible interpretation of what he was shown. following that the crown then moved away from the video to focus on other issues, my guess being that it was in fact what the defence were proposing. therefore the convictions would suggest then that the jury seems to have rejected the notion that vip protection training is a lawful and sufficient use of firearms.

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