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Operation 8 verdict

Written By: - Date published: 2:26 pm, March 15th, 2012 - 46 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

I’m sitting at the High Court awaiting the verdict in the Operation 8 trial. Whichever way it goes this case is a big failure for the police. After the biggest surveillance operation against activists this country has ever seen, the most that will happen is some far-fetched ‘association’ convictions against 4 people under a widely criticized law. Whatever the outcome, the police operation was excessive, targeted far too wide a net of people and failed to show any major organized criminal activity or prevent it. I’ll post the verdict here when it comes through.

Update 4.35pm: The judge is just dismissing the jury for the day – they will resume deliberations tomorrow morning.

46 comments on “Operation 8 verdict ”

  1. vto 1

    Do you think that verdict of your would match up with the majority of New Zealanders who have been following the trial, given the footage and evidence that has been provided??

  2. infused 2

    I think it will be guilty. We’ll I believe it should be.

    • insider 2.1

      I’m very strongly of the view they were guilty of something very dodgy – a lot more than paintball and wanangas. the judge pointedly said the overarching question in the case was: “what were these camps intended to achieve?”

      but it could be a big step to push that over the line of proof beyond reasonable doubt of a criminal offence based on what has been in the papers.

      My natural justice inner self is hoping the jury will be like a group of parents with a bunch of squabbling kids who instinctively know who started it, even if they didn’t see it, and are going to discipline him as a lesson to all to not do that kind of thing again.

      • felix 2.1.1

        That’s a fairly disturbing brand of “justice” you’re advocating there insider. Hopefully the jury aren’t like you and have a modicum of respect for the rule of law.

        • insider 2.1.1.1

          Like I said it was my natural justice bit, whcih I’m more than happy to admit can get a little personalised and vengeful at times. But juries do occassionally do interesting things which I believe are about sending wider messages to prosecutors and defendants, rather than deciding solely on the facts presented in a dispassionate way. Being part of a community makes it hard sometimes to be completely dispassionate.

          • lprent 2.1.1.1.1

            Yep. Juries will also not convict if they think that the police have been pushing crap and inflating the charges beyond any reasonable level as well (which is what I think has happened here)

            What has been notable from the coverage of this case is how little evidence there was on a couple of the defendants. So little that you’d have to ask why they were brought to trial. They annoyed a cop perhaps?

            • insider 2.1.1.1.1.1

              I thought same, hence my comment above on the reasonable doubt hurdle. Emily Bailey is the one I was thinking of (but sh presented no defence either I believe so wouldn’t ahve been in the paper so much), and Kemara. But then the reporting has been a bit patchy

              • lprent

                There have been some reasonably detailed reports at scoop (day 19) – haven’t seen a top level page for that. They’re biased towards the defense, but factual and detailed.

                Beats the hell out of the news media reports

          • Campbell Larsen 2.1.1.1.2

            Like I said it was my natural justice bit, whcih I’m more than happy to admit can get a little personalised and vengeful at times

            insider you really need to brush up on the meaning of Natural Justice:

            There is nothing personal or vengeful about Natural Justice.
            And as for your first example – disciplining someone as an example to others is actually a fundamental breach of the principles of Natural Justice.

            Anyone would think that you were trying to redefine the term….
            What has Darth McVicar threatened you with? do you have relatives on Alderon? Its too late for them, but not for you insider – beware the dark side.

  3. idlegus 3

    I hope the jury sees common sense & finds them ‘not guilty’.

    • The Baron 3.1

      Why? I’m still at a loss as to why anyone would want to defend what was going on in those hills.

      The legality of those actions is one thing – but even if it is indeed a not guilty verdict, how on earth would that behaviour be “common sense” idlegus?

      • lprent 3.1.1

        Based on the evidence that has been provided, it is hard to see much actually wrong apart from some police having an inflated idea of their own judgement. The police have tried to insinuate a lot. But they haven’t proved much.

        The common sense is that people are innocent until proven guilty. What are they guilty of?

        Acting like amateur idiots with weapons? Happens all of the time with hunters and even farmers.

        Playing at combat games? So have most of the management bonding exercises I have been dragged to.

        Wanting to meet people of similar interests? You mean like this site? Or a political party or….

        • higherstandard 3.1.1.1

          “Acting like amateur idiots with weapons? Happens all of the time with hunters and even farmers.”

          Yes they were acting like idiots with weapons – but what strikes me is that it was a very strange group to acting like amateur idiots with weapons. I suspect they’ll be discharged and told not to behave like dicks although with some of the accused and some of the already discharged that will be a forlorn hope.

        • Populuxe1 3.1.1.2

          “Acting like amateur idiots with weapons? Happens all of the time with hunters and even farmers.”
          Which, given the fatalities and injuries over the years, should be a serious legal matter – although of course the conspiracy charges would be inappropriate. 
          I grew up around fire arms and shot competitively for a while. They are not toys for fooling around with, and I have zero patience for anyone flouting firearms laws and not showing a weapon the proper respect. If they’re not conspirators, they should still be charged with being fuckwits with firearms.

          • lprent 3.1.1.2.1

            Oh I agree with that. The problem is that the police totally screwed up how they collected the evidence and most of it was disallowed for minor offenses. That left 4 people that the police had inadvertently charged with serious enough offenses to meet the test. Sheer bad luck for them.

          • RedLogix 3.1.1.2.2

            Yes there were always a bunch of serious firearms and careless use charges that needed to be laid here.

            If the police had simply left it to the local cops to do their job in the ordinary way they would have had a straightforward result ages ago. Instead they got carried away with the ‘terrorism’ thing and now they have a full-scale cluster-fuck on their hands.

            Not to mention a whole Tuhoe community even more pissed and alienated with the State than ever before.

            • Jackal 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Let the local cops do their job, like take the guns and then give them back when they get firearms licenses… that’s what usually happens. No charges, just a word from friendly Mr plod.

      • muzza 3.1.2

        Meanwhile we let Al Zakawi (Peter) and numerous other well known arms dealers and so called terrorists into NZ.

        The Urwera situation is nothing more than a beat up, to give some sort of localised terror perception here in NZ..

        Side show!

      • idlegus 3.1.3

        I think theres a certain amount of racist paranoia around it all, and if the police used their brains at the start this whole thing could have been dealt with then & there. If the jury see ‘common sense’ & erase all the racist bs, I think they will be found not guilty.

        I dont know what exactly they were doing in those hills, no idea, looks to me they just playing at idiots, so what.

        • Populuxe1 3.1.3.1

          I dont know what exactly they were doing in those hills, no idea, looks to me they just playing at idiots, so what.

          “Playing at idiots” with firearms and other weapons gets people maimed or killed – generally to be discouraged.

          • muzza 3.1.3.1.1

            You come across like a complete pussy – What are you scared of bro, afraid the “crazy natives” are going to go postal?

            • Populuxe1 3.1.3.1.1.1

              No, you dumb fuck, I’m afraid someone is going to accidentally shoot themselves or someone else. Why don’t you spin that line to the family of Rosemary Margaret Ives, for example and see how that flies/

              • Vicky32

                No, you dumb fuck, I’m afraid someone is going to accidentally shoot themselves or someone else. Why don’t you spin that line to the family of Rosemary Margaret Ives, for example and see how that flies

                OK, I have to agree with you, which somewhat surprises me… 🙂

                • Populuxe1

                  Why/ – we actually agree on most things except religion (which I am reasonable tolerant of compared with some) and anti-gay bigotry (which I’m sure we can just avoid if we try)

              • muzza

                “No, you dumb fuck, I’m afraid someone is going to accidentally shoot themselves or someone else”

                Try have a look at the bigger picture, about just what the police, the government etc were wanting/trying to get this mess to become. SIS bill comes to mind…

                No doubt in my mind that the various factions wanted this to be something it was not, the recent Kim Dotcom circus is simply a continuation of the garbage people suck up, and believe!

                Your example of a hunting accident is out of context….should all hunters be charged in advance of any potential accidents…perhaps extend that to all crimes which have yet to be committed, just start rounding people up eh, just in case, you know, so we can all feel nice and safe…

                Maybe a patriot/NDAA act…that should do it!

                • Populuxe1

                  Your example of a hunting accident is out of context….should all hunters be charged in advance of any potential accidents…perhaps extend that to all crimes which have yet to be committed, just start rounding people up eh, just in case, you know, so we can all feel nice and safe…

                  Well if said hunter is acting like a dumb arsehole with his firearms, then he can be charged anyway. Obviously you know nothing about firearms or NZ firearms law – few licensed people would talk like that. And it’s a separate issue from the terrorism charges – do try to keep up.

  4. M.B. 4

    My feeling is the 128 Abel Smith Street contingent (Urs Signer and Emily Bailey) will probably get off. Not so sure about Kemara and Iti.

    • Populuxe1 4.1

      Yep – the greenies were probably just collateral; strange (and a bit naive) bedfellows like the Maori sovereignty activists  and trade unionists in Mana.

  5. Jenny 5

    Personally I think the wrong people are on trial. What about all the lawbreaking by the police? The illegal video spying, the leaking of privileged information to the the press. The breaches of the civil liberties of dozens of people who were never charged with any offence.

    Will there ever be an inquiry into all this?

    • muzza 5.2

      Well said Jenny, and not a chance, because the police are just the enforcement gang of the thuggish governmment, there to enforce laws set up by an illegal parliament who try to protect NZ’s incestural half way buggered judicary, which is nothing more than a gang of old boys. Just have a look who the new Solicitor General and the stink he has around him, is to see the continuation of corruption NZ live. Watch what happens when the private prisons are built!

      IPCA – LOL ……tui ad!

  6. Blue 6

    It is seriously time to give it up and stop pretending that there was nothing untoward going on in the Ureweras.

    If the verdict is not guilty, it will be because the police stuffed up in the way they went about their evidence gathering, not because the people involved are innocent.

    However ham-fisted the police may have been, some very dangerous activity was stopped and that’s about the only positive thing that can be said of the whole mess.

    • Jackal 6.1

      I think there wont be any convictions because there is a lack of any proper evidence of “dangerous” or serious illegal activity… not because the cops have been remiss or hindered in performing their duty, but because there is no basis to the alleged crimes.

      The Crown case has been entirely built on speculation and fear-mongering, and the law doesn’t usually like that. The trial has taken all of five weeks, when it was originally meant to take three months… I wonder why?

      There can never be anything positive gleaned from state repression and the police terrorizing the many hundreds if not thousands of people impacted in the raids. It is simply a mess that will be a blot on our history forever. Shame!

      • M.B. 6.1.1

        there’s also the fact that the law they’re being charged under is screwed up to begin with. It was intended for the Mongrel Mob, not for political activists. Judges don’t tell juries this, but they have the right to ignore the letter of the law and refuse to convict if they don’t agree with the law. An example is the senior police officer in wellington who was acquitted of assaulting his son.

    • Richard Christie 6.2

      > “If the verdict is not guilty, it will be because the police stuffed up in the way they went about their evidence gathering, not because the people involved are innocent.”

      facepalm

  7. I think most people would raise eyebrows at what was going – both by the training campers and how it was dealt with by the police.

    The police (as usual) were in a difficult position, if they hadn’t acted and IF some sort of violent act had resulted from the grouip then the poice would have been dumped on. And they got dumped on anyway, by a law clarification and by people who just don’t like them threatening their view of how things were.

    • muzza 7.1

      Actually fossil, you might find that people in this country by and large have a sense of what a con job is when it comes to this issue…kiws are generally naiive, but when it comes to police beat ups, and covering themselves, they are all too familiar with the MO.

      The biggest acts of violence are being perpetrated by the government and police of this country against the people, so don’t even attempt to use the hypotethetical againt the factual!

      What is your contribution to society by the way?

      Oh thats right, political fluffer….

      • grumpy 7.1.1

        muzza to Pete George

        “What is your contribution to society by the way?

        Oh thats right, political fluffer….”

        Whereas you, in a comment on MUNZ describe yourself as a hotshot at the Auckland Council and a close buddy of Len Brown. Really?????Interesting!!!! Really interesting………………..

    • lprent 7.2

      As it was get got dumped on because they arrested for offenses that they thought might happen. The guess was that they were on a fishing expedition. They hoped they’d find evidence in the raids, didn’t, and then had so much mana invested that they went along with bogus charges to cover their arse.

      Like it or not, the role of police is to charge for offenses that have actually happened. They observe until they have clear evidence that one has or is being planned. If it turns out that they were wrong which is comman when they’re looking at activists, then they say so rather than proceeding with a farce like this 5 year sorry saga.

      In the meantime, many of us will slag them off for failing to do their job. Just think what would the effector all of the resources they put into these cases could have achieved in dealing with actual crimes?

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    This case so far has been way more informative about the nature of the NZ state forces and legal processes than what any of the defendents may or may not have been up to. An interesting point for me….
    Denial by a bluebelly team leader under oath of acknowledged police history about the “confiscation line” of the Cullen raids in 1916 matching co-ordinates of the operation 8 raids. Apparently a) to not wind up the locals any more, and b) to protect narks who gave them land access to do their illegal surveillence.

  9. This has been a sinister attempt to conflate dissent with terrorism. The security apparatus here got over excited when they witnessed the perverse authority granted to their British and US counterparts and set out to find terrorists.

    New Zealand’s domestic security hierarchy began with the premise that there are terrorists in New Zealand and set about constructing ‘evidence’ to support their narrative. Anyone familiar with the Ahmed Zaoui fiasco could not fail to notice parallels in the way these quasi-fascist ideologues begin with a bigoted assumption, then develop an elaborate montage of events, which, when taken out of context, provide superficial support for their jaundiced views.

    There would be something seriously wrong with any judicial system that recognised the activities of the security officials, prosecuting either the Zaoui case or the Urewera 4 case, as acceptable.

    I sincerely hope the jury delivers another humiliating blow to the illegitimate authority of one of New Zealand’s most dangerous right-wing organisations by returning a not guilty on all charges verdict.

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