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Waihopai victory

Written By: - Date published: 12:18 pm, March 18th, 2010 - 99 comments
Categories: activism - Tags: ,

The not guilty verdicts in the Waihopai spy base case is a victory for the peace movement and proof of the value of the jury system.

Now, dear righties, don’t go fretting that this case creates open season for activists to damage property. Jury decisions do not create precedent, only statements of law by judges do. All the judge had to decide was whether a guilty verdict was possible in law. It is for the jury in each individual case to decide whether the facts warrant a guilty verdict.

At least, if they get a jury. I think it’s a pretty fair call that if this trial had been heard in front of a judge only, the activists probably would have been convicted. A judge is more bound by the strict interpretation of the law. A jury can decide that a guilty verdict just doesn’t sit with their (and, hopefully, by extension society’s) sense of justice.

Unfortunately, National is restricting New Zealanders’ access to trial by jury, removing the right of accused people to be judged by their peers in accordance with society’s values, not dry interpretation of the law.

99 comments on “Waihopai victory ”

  1. BLiP 1

    Yessss!!!

    Justice in its purest sense somehow manages to slip through. But, like you say, how long before National Ltdâ„¢ closes that little loophole?

  2. Lanthanide 2

    They admitted they did it. They cost someone (probably the taxpayer), a lot of money to fix the problem. Their defence was flimsy nonsense “the US is involved in a war somewhere and disabling this satellite dish on the opposite site of the planet will somehow save innocent lives in that war”.

    They should’ve been found guilty and gone to jail.

    • Bright Red 2.1

      a jury of 12 of their peers in possession of the facts and the arguments disagreed.

      Actually I’m not sure if they bothered to replace the dome. Anyone know?

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Yes, they did, several months later, I recall seeing the news story on stuff about it.

    • BLiP 2.2

      . . the US is involved in a war . . .

      A pre-emptive invasion and an going illegal occupation based on lies and resulting in the unnecessary deaths of a million innocents all to further corporate interests is a “war”? What-the-fuck-ever!

      Adrian Leason, Peter Murnane, and Sam Land – Heroes Of Waihope!!

    • Lew 2.3

      Lanthanide, a jury and a judge disagree. That’s all she wrote. This is how civil society works.

      Interesting and considered support for this result — if not the Ploughshares argument — from people with a broad spread of ideological opinions, as well. But not from the KBR and such authoritarians, to whom the only good activist is a dead activist.

      L

      • Lanthanide 2.3.1

        Yes, I understand that. What’s your point?

        • Lew 2.3.1.1

          That your opinion isn’t worth a damn. Have a nice day : )

          L

          • Tigger 2.3.1.1.1

            Actually Lan has a point – a judge and jury found them not guilty – Lan doesn’t agree and can openly say so. End of story. Jury trials and freedom of speech in action.

            • Lew 2.3.1.1.1.1

              But of course. I would no more try to shut down his right to say so than I would try to overturn the verdict on his — or anyone’s — opinion.

              L

  3. Lew 3

    Curses, I’m repeating BR. Lynn, the site is practically unusable today. 500s or times out all the freaking time.

    L

    Captcha: codes. Fix teh codes!1

    • lprent 3.1

      Yeah, there is something pretty wrong with the server box. A tech and I are working through it at present…

      • Andrew 3.1.1

        It just happened to coincide with the new search implementation. Well it seems like it anyway. Not saying it’s definitely the cause, but might be somewhere to look.

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          That has been off at times that this stuff has happened (in fact it has been off since 11am today). It was the first thing I checked for. Similarly php and mysql have been shifted back to last weeks configuration to eliminate those. On a server that we’re meant to get no more than 15% of the CPU, the actual CPU usuage has been bursting up to over 80%. But worse than that MySQL slows to a crawl, which tends to imply that there is some kind of disk issue.

          • Andrew 3.1.1.1.1

            Oh and one more thing. I only get the 500 error if i click through from my google RSS reader. If I click on the same link at the same time from the website “www.thestan…..” it goes through ok.

            ?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=waihopai-victory

            Another thing to look at 🙂

  4. vto 4

    Good decision.

    But on the wider issue of jury decisions I do not agree that justice is always served. Often a judge is clearly superior to a randomish sampling of the community with little knowledge of the law. imo.

    • felix 4.1

      Eh?
      As I understand it juries don’t deal with matters of law, only matters of fact.

      I could be wrong though, it’s happened before…

    • Sarge 4.2

      I agree. It doesn’t matter what your views are, justice should always be applied evenly. Judges are in a much better position to apply the law as it is written. I think it’s appalling that a group of people who willingly caused over a million dollars worth of damage (and endangered lives of their fellow citizens serving overseas) managed to walk free (in fact, I think it’s almost as appalling as my spelling). What if I was a famous blogger who defamed a MP of a political party, because I believed their law and order policies would cost lives? Would those who support the jury in this case back me up then? If not, why not? It’s the exact same principle…….

      • felix 4.2.1

        You haven’t made any spelling errors. Couple of grammatical ones, but they look deliberate.

        What kind of “Sarge” are you, Sarge?

        • Sarge 4.2.1.1

          Wow, I was sure my spelling of appalling was wrong.

          A civillian one. I played one in a stage show a few years back, and the name stuck.

  5. BeShakey 5

    From what I’ve read they seem to have argued that they believed that lives were at stake and attacking the based would save lives (they admitted that this would be limited, and their lawyer argued that the belief was enough – that they shouldn’t have to prove it). So could someone (preferably with a legal background) explain whether there would be any differences between this case and one where protesters broke into an abortion clinic and caused damage to save unborn babies (as just one example amongst many)?

    • gobsmacked 5.1

      In that case their defence would be just as shakey (sorry). Like the Waihopai guys, they would just have to throw themselves on the mercy of the jury.

      One difference is that attacks on abortion clinics usually involve violence, so there’s a risk of death or injury (which has happened in the USA). It would be hard in a clinic to carry out exactly the same kind of action as happened at Waihopai, clearly posing no risk to others.

      But the principle’s the same. It comes down to the credibility of the defendants in the eyes of the jury. In this case, the jury bought it (which was fine by me, polically speaking). Anti-abortionists might not be so cuddly.

    • SPC 5.2

      Clearly anyone claiming to be about saving lives should restrict themselves to acts short of violence against people.

  6. Neil 6

    perhaps these actions casued the deaths of people. Maybe prevented information about al Qaida or the Taliban being actioned or maybe interfererd with monitoring the govt of Sudan or Iran or Nth Korea.

    Just as plausible.

    And – all to be expected – the anti-abortion groups have picked up their ears. Perhaps indulging one group of religious zealots just because they’re left wing isn’t such a good idea.

    • The Voice of Reason 6.1

      BeShakey and Neil:

      The defence the 3 used could be used by anti-abortionists and probably has in the past. The key thing is that this is a jury trial and another jury in identical circ’s might have said ‘guilty’. This doesn’t set a precedent, though if was the judge making the decision it probably would.

      There have been plenty of examples of people breaking the law because of firmly held belief. Wharfies refusing to handle cargo going to fascist Spain or aparthied South Africa springs to mind. Conciencious objectors during the two world wars as well.

      I guess the thing with Waihopai is that is clearly part of the spy network of a foreign country and it’s not hard to raise a solid moral argument that it shouldn’t be allowed to exist in NZ. The argument that the spy base can reasonably be believed to have caused the deaths of innocents is obviously plausable, so good on ’em for managing to convince 12 citizens that moral courage outweighs immoral activities.

      • Neil 6.1.1

        well if you’re going to compare this petty act of vandalism to going off to fight facism in Spain then maybe a more appropriate course of action for these people would be to have gone to Iraq, stand in a market just bomber by al Qaeda with a sign round their necks saying “hey Osama, maybe you could stop killing civilians”.

        Might not entail the same degree of risk as the International Brigade incurred but might give some reality to their claims of moral superiority.

        • The Voice of Reason 6.1.1.1

          I thought it was a pretty apt comparison, Neil, and I didn’t say anything about going to Spain to fight. Both were anti-war actions in their own way, on home soil, on behalf of innocent others overseas. Both illegal, both successful. And I don’t think the Waihopai 3 have claimed moral superiority, BTW, just a moral motivation. Oh, and el Queda are bombing Pakistan and Afghanistan mostly, not Iraq. But the rest of what you say is fine.

          • Neil 6.1.1.1.1

            I did misread your Spain reference.

            Personally I don’t see how their actions can in anyway be compared to those taken over such issues as facist Spain and apartheid.

            • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.1.1.1

              can in anyway be compared

              Not even as “examples of people breaking the law because of firmly held belief.”?

              How strange. Especially as you seem to be able to imagine that anti abortion activists will be able to draw comparison well enough.

              • Neil

                I also don’t see any comparison between Spain and apartheid and anti-abotion activists who also are “examples of people breaking the law because of firmly held belief.”

            • The Voice of Reason 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Cheers, Neil. I was trying to think of events where moral beliefs persuaded people to break the law in their own country to protect the citizens of another country. Those were the examples that sprang to mind immediately, but no doubt there are other better ones.

              I’m picking that these three managed to convince the jury that they were acting along the lines of ‘what would jesus do?’. That is, that they had an overwhelming moral belief that their actions were for the higher good and the jury were convinced that they were acting on that belief in a way that allowed a not guilty verdict in this case. The secrecy about what goes on at these bases probably helped. It would have been much more fun if the CIA or NSA turned up trying disprove the notion that these bases kill innocent people.

              • Neil

                yes most likely. I still find it troubling. I think I’d prefer it if their beliefs and circumstances were taken into account at the sentencing stage.

  7. tc 7

    Mixed feelings: they broke the law and admitted it, a jury of peers is highly likely to err on the lenient/no punishment side so whilst I’m all for protest against such supreme bullies as uncle sam I don’t think the message is a great one to those who don’t think too hard before they act.

    heaps of 500 internal server errors timeouts since yesterday arvo techys if that helps you track back through the logs..

  8. vidiot 8

    A stupid decision, is only going to lead to other wing nuts following an taking illegal actions in to their own hands.

    How would you like it if I broke in to your house, damaged your property and killed your computer – in the interests of preventing harm to other people.

    What utter bollocks.

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      I’d hate it. And I’m confident a jury would be on my side.

      There’s no precedent, no floodgates. Just a jury (who heard far more about it than you or me) making their decision. Not the first time they’ve raised eyebrows with a verdict, won’t be the last. So?

    • Bright Red 8.2

      vidiot, look! Marty’s writing about you!

      “Now, dear righties, don’t go fretting that this case creates open season for activists to damage property. Jury decisions do not create precedent, only statements of law by judges do.”

      • vidiot 8.2.1

        The precedent will to be to use the defense of ‘greater right’ which up until now was only ever used in property cases, not criminal.

        Queue the Tui billboard – ‘Yes, your honor I did kill that person, but in doing so I stopped him from possibly killing other people’

        • freedom 8.2.1.1

          your grasp of law and of human decency is underwhelming

        • felix 8.2.1.2

          Jury. Decisions. Do. Not. Create. Precedent. You. Fucking. Moron.

        • Bright Red 8.2.1.3

          There’s no precedent here.

          a) there was no novel legal decision. Only the finding of fact by the jury could be considered novel and they don’t set precedent.

          b) this was a District Court case. District Courts are at the bottom of the ladder and can’t create precedent. They can’t create precedent for each other or for higher courts.

  9. freedom 9

    i challenge you to read page 26 of this leaked cia report
    then tell me who the criminals are
    http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/CIA.pdf

    • The Voice of Reason 9.1

      The criminals? All of them, freedom, all of them. Both sides routinely kill innocents, both are guilty of atrocities. Why should we support one group of thugs over another?

      • Neil 9.1.1

        which side tried to stop the just held elctions in Iraq, which side made sure it could occur?

        • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1.1

          Funnily enough of course, the US initially didn’t like the idea of elections in Iraq. They had to back down in the face of Sistani from memory, who threatened to justify insurgency against occupation.

          But anyway Neil, if you still want to defend what went down in Iraq, that’s your business.

          • Neil 9.1.1.1.1

            i’ll defend the over throw of a dictorship even if the left don’t feel the need.

            oh and by the way, you might want to aquaint yourself with the UN’s view of the timing of the first national elections in Iraq. Apparently they thought it was a bit too soon. And you might want to give a little bit of thought as to why Sistani was so keen to have elections while the Sunni community was in disarray.

            So Saddam gone, elections held, thanks to Blair, Brown, Bush and lots of defenders of democracy in Iraq and no thanks to quite a few people on the left. Certainly no thanks to people who think that petty vandalism in NZ means anything.

            • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Death squads. Torture chambers. Ethnic clensing. !00’s of 1,000’s killed. Millions of refugees.

              Nice one Neil.

              You must be very puffed up with moral pride.

        • freedom 9.1.1.2

          strangely enough, they are one and the same

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Might not be technically a legal precedent.

    However, the publication of this case could give the implicit message that anything goes so long as you believe you are doing good. For instance, we could get anti-abortionists believing they have the right to kill doctors because they are saving the lives of unborn children.

    It was a stupid decision. It makes me despair at the intelligence of people on juries. I was foreman on
    jury awhile ago. I was not too impressed with intelligence of some on that jury. I think it is time for professional jurors.

    • freedom 10.1

      go stick your head in a bucket, preferably one full of cement

      you probably want parents licenced and believe only people who can pay up front should go to university

      do you even understand the verdict, have you even bothered to look at one paragraph of data that was not feed to you by the AP or Reuters. Your comments are banal, facile but mostly reactionary drivel

      i am now going to go for a walk before i say something that would result in being banned for life

    • BLiP 10.2

      they have the right to kill

      The defence does not apply in cases of violence. You. Fucking. Moron.

      • Eclipse 10.2.1

        There’s still the possibility of jury nullification in future cases, even outside of a claim of right defence (which from the article quoted above, seems to be what was actually run). Obviously no reasonable jury would do such a thing in a serious violent crime case, but there are possibilities outside a true legal defence for a jury to acquit in any case.

  11. Bill 11

    I’m surprised that nobody has picked up on the fact that the opinion…or sentiments… of the jury would appear to be at variance to mainstream ‘ should do that, shouldn’t do that’ opinion, ie mainstream opinion and sentiment as sold back to us day in day out and night after night via various msm.

    I take some comfort from that fact.

    Seems we ain’t the hicks and fuckwits we take ourselves for when we’re given the chance to get our hands on substantive information…when we can engage with the world that lies beyond facile spin.

    • freedom 11.1

      i posted that very sentiment last night Bill, but cannot link right now. it is in open mike

  12. Blue 12

    Personally I’m not happy with the verdict at all. The protesters do not know what sort of information the Waihopai spy base collects, who they pass it to, and what is ultimately done with it.

    They may *believe* it is being used for no good, but they don’t have any solid proof of that.

    As others have pointed out, the information may be used to save lives and to protect NZ citizens from malicious attacks being carried out here. Information from such a base may be used to prevent an act such as the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, for example.

    I’m not a fan of people striking blows in ignorance.

    • freedom 12.1

      ‘I’m not a fan of people striking blows in ignorance.”
      but striking keyboards in ignorance you are obviously fine with

      There are countless accounts around the world of what these bases are tasked with.
      The operational data is delivered to the security agencies of America and never shared untill after screenings and serious censorship. Our own government is not even allowed access to the raw data collected by these installations.

      Are you honestly so completely naive that you believe America is working for the benefit of humanity, peace and freedom?

    • felix 12.2

      Information from such a base may be used to prevent an act such as the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior, for example.

      Probably not the best example as – if I recall correctly – the U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies we “share information with” did have advance knowledge of the impending attack on the Rainbow Warrior yet chose not to share it with us.

  13. Lanthanide 13

    While I haven’t found any firm evidence for the cost of repairs, it was frequently stated as “up to $1m”, and it seems that it was the NZ taxpayer that footed that bill.

    Anyway, here’s a link to the original Standard article on this:

    The Golfball and Sickle

  14. Because they were found not guilty this time, does it give them a mandate to continue doing it ?

    They are saving lives after all and the more times they do it the more lives they save and is it a staircasing thing to blowing up american embassies next ?

  15. SPC 15

    There is another argument not used in the trial – that New Zealand’s association with the American spy system involves us spying on the communications of the other nations that results in unethical use of this knowledge – such as unfair advantage in trade/business affairs/economics. That in the name of security there is a national self interest agenda at play.

    Of course the tolerance of the American system was based on a certain real-politic necessity during the Cold War (an economically strong USA enabled better collective security), supposedly so now in the war against terrorism, however that tolerance was based on the Americans operating within accepted norms. The world is now more aware of historic American real-politic operations, has witnessed some quite appalling failures on human rights and even breach of law within the US itself (the FBI carrying out illegal surveillance of Americans on illegal orders from the President). There is a loss of trust.

    Unless Americans rebuild the loss of trust, they can expect more jury trials to take this course.

    • Bored 15.1

      To rebuild the trust might take a while since they have been up to nefarious deeds for too long. They might start with a trial or three themselves….

      * Kissinger for crimes against sovereignty and undeclared war leading to millions of deaths in Vietnam, Cambodia and Chile
      *Cheney and Rumsfeld for war profiteering (modern day corporate carpet bagging).
      * Bush for being himself…..

      Sort of like an updated Nuremburg to send the message that just because you claim to be the good guys (defending the American way of life, God, homecoming queens and apple pie) does not mean you can do foul deeds with impunity.

      Then we might trust them again.

  16. tsmithfield 16

    BLiP “The defence does not apply in cases of violence. You. Fucking. Moron.”

    Your single brain cell missed my point entirely.

    It doesn’t matter if there is a legal defence or not, or whether there is a legal precedent established. There are many people in the public who will just see this case on its face value as justification to do what they want because they believe they have a cause. They probably won’t consult a lawyer to see if it is a valid defence or not. Get it??? Turn your brain on before you try abusing me.

    It doesn’t matter to me whether I agreed with their actions or not. So far as I am concerned, the law has clearly been broken and the jury should have found that way. We are on a slippery slope indeed if we keep getting this sort of result.

    • Pascal's bookie 16.1

      The law they were accused of breaking has a defence to it under the crimes act. They successfully used that defence. Therefore they didn’t break the law.

      Speaking of slippery slopes, do you also think that we should do away with self defence re homicide charges? Members of the public might misunderstand that too in a case where public opinion is divided but the jury acquits.

    • BLiP 16.2

      Bearing in mind your initial comment which started this delightful exchange, can you explain how someone might feel entitled to kill or even hurt someone because of this acquittal?

  17. Steve 17

    The Waihopai three have plain and simply watched far too many James Bond movies.
    Three hillbillies decided they had a license not to kill, and in some deluded way a Spy Base attack would stop further killing. How do they know this? Communications may have saved lives in War Zones. Where did the trio get their information?
    After the attack did the satellite stop working? all they did was remove the cover.
    Get back in them thar hills before the CIA comes a-huntin. They want revenge real bad …..

    • Marty G 17.1

      A jury of their peers found them not guilty. Do you oppose the jury system?

      I see you’re a fan of extra-judicial murder, so why not eh?

  18. freedom 18

    so the $1M figure is not and apparently cannot be verified as there is no invoice

    i guess we just take their word for it then?
    we trust them to tell the truth don’t we people

  19. freedom 19

    the link above keeps going 404

    here is the address
    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/crown-considering-appealing-waihopai-verdict-3421192

    captcha (again doing its thing) : channels

    funny though how many times the crown does not feel a retrial is needed for cases of violent crime

  20. tsmithfield 20

    Pascal: “The law they were accused of breaking has a defence to it under the crimes act. They successfully used that defence. Therefore they didn’t break the law.”

    But the way they used the defence was a real stretch. On that basis, the same defence could be used in all sorts of ways you might not like. For example, an antiabortionist breaking into a doctors office and deleting all the records of patients on the basis that it is protecting the lives of unborn children.

    If you are going to argue something on principle, then don’t just stick to the cases you like.

    • Pascal's bookie 20.1

      But the way they used the defence was a real stretch.

      sez you.

      The jury disagreed, and they heard the arguments. I didn’t, so I don’t know if it was a stretch.

      On that basis, the same defence could be used in all sorts of ways you might not like.

      again, sez you.

      The defence they used doesn’t just rest with the idea of greater good. From my understanding of it, it’s not enough to claim you felt a moral right to do what you did.

      You have to believe (correctly or not) that you had a legal right to do what you did.

      In your hypothetical, the accused would have to show they had good reason to believe they had a legal right to prevent abortions. “protecting the lives of unborn children” wouldn’t cut it I suspect, that’s a moral argument. The law says that abortion is legal. Most everyone knows this, so what reason would you have to think you had a legal right to prevent them?

      But who knows. maybe they could find such a reason. I’d disagree with their action, but not with their right to make their case to a jury.

      Don’t accuse me of applying double standards without evidence please.

  21. tsmithfield 21

    Further to my previous post, I don’t agree with you that the result shows they didn’t break the law. The result shows that the court didn’t find that they had broken the law. There is a difference.

    • thiscountryhasgonemad 21.1

      Would have been more sensible to find them guilty and then discharge them without conviction.

      • Con 21.1.1

        Would have been more sensible to find them guilty and then discharge them without conviction

        The jury doesn’t get to decide on a sentence – that’s the judge’s prerogative. All the jury gets to decide is guilty or not, and they don’t get to instruct the judge. So if they want the accused to get off they have no choice but to deliver a “not guilty” verdict.

    • Pascal's bookie 21.2

      The result shows that the court didn’t find that they had broken the law.

      I’m not sure that that’s quite right either;

      When someone gets found not guilty of murder by reason of self defence, the court hasn’t merely found that the prosecution failed to prove murder.

      It’s found that what the person did was legal self defence.

  22. One of the most dangerous decsions ever made by a jury in New Zealand’s history.

    There now maybe a few other protest groups or wackos out there, who are against something you beleive in, that may try something that will do damage to this country and your beliefs.

  23. tsmithfield 23

    tchgm “Would have been more sensible to find them guilty and then discharge them without conviction”

    I would agree with you. The political motivation behind the act should have served to mitigate the sentence. To equate what they did with breaking into a burning house to save a child is pure fantasy. For all we know, the action of the protesters may have actually cost lives, especially if a transmission was lost due to their actions that pointed to a terrorist bombing somewhere.

    • Pascal's bookie 23.1

      To equate what they did with breaking into a burning house to save a child is pure fantasy.

      No one is equating it in this sense. It’s about the nature of the defense. If you believe there is a fire, and that there are children in need of saving, that can be a defense against charges of breaking and entering.

      It doesn’t matter if in fact there is no fire at all, just as it doesn’t matter if in fact their actions in this case cost lives due to the terrorist bomb. It’s not really about that.

      Personally, I think bringing political motivations in to the sentencing stage as mitigation is an appalling idea. That would make crime a legitimate political tactic.

      Spamword: hopefully Graeme will show up and correct me if I’m getting this stuff all wrong. he’s like the law pixie that lives in the internet.

    • Con 23.2

      For all we know, the action of the protesters may have actually cost lives…

      For all we know, their action may have saved lives, especially if they disrupted intelligence that led to US military drone strike somewhere…

      I’m just saying.

  24. weizguy 24

    My opinion – for what it’s worth:

    This is a bad decision by the Jury, just as Bruce Emery’s conviction for Manslaughter rather than murder was a bad decision by the Jury.

    I’m a fan of the Jury system, but it has its problems. This isn’t victory for the jury system, and don’t tell me that there’d be so much celebration over this verdict if we were talking about abortion activists committing a similar, non-violent act.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve always contended that the invasion of Iraq was illegal, and I’m happy to accept that this protest may have merit. However, I also believe that they broke the law.

    • Con 24.1

      It’s up to the jury to decide if the law was broken AND it’s up to them to decide if those charged should be considered “guilty”. They not just there to enfore the law strictly on behalf of the secret police – they are direct representatives of the public and have a sovereign democratic right to decide whatever they see fit. If the public of NZ can’t be relied on to enforce a law then so much the worse for the law.

      And if the cops don’t like it they can appeal and get another jury.

      • Lew 24.1.1

        No, they can’t appeal. They have to wait until they do it again. Or do something else.

        L

        • Con 24.1.1.1

          “Waihopai three verdict may be appealed” says Stuff, quoting the Solicitor General: “The Crown will now consider the judge’s ruling and directions and decide if it is appropriate to pursue an appeal,”

          • weizguy 24.1.1.1.1

            That’s an appeal on point of law. I’m assuming there are some people at this very moment scrambling to find a way to challenge the Judge’s instructions.

            “They not just there to enfore the law strictly on behalf of the secret police”

            No, they’re there to enforce the law for NZ. They did a poor job – IMHO.

  25. a human 25

    to those who are so worried about people breaking laws
    well good news, your government has decided the recent law changes for warrantless search and surveillance are going to be well utilised by our OFFICIAL new domestic spy service

    http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/greens-spy-agency039s-become-only-area-government-growth/5/42169

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/big-brother-watching-ahead-rwc-3421182

    goodnight

  26. Mike Smith 26

    Crikey… some posters seem to revel in the fact that NZ is part of the war in Iraq. That’s what being part of Echelon is all about. In stopping some possible/alleged/likely/unlikely “terrorist” acts thousands of Iraqis are now dead and we, NZ, had a hand in it…. Do you feel proud?

  27. tsmithfield 27

    Pascal: “It’s about the nature of the defense. If you believe there is a fire, and that there are children in need of saving, that can be a defense against charges of breaking and entering.”

    If, on principle, you’re fine with that, then thats OK by me. So long, on the same principle, you are prepared to accept without complaint court decisions based on the same defence when it involves actions that you don’t agree with.

    Pascal: “Personally, I think bringing political motivations in to the sentencing stage as mitigation is an appalling idea. That would make crime a legitimate political tactic.”

    Lots of things are used to argue for mitigation. At least mitigation is argued before a judge who should have more than one brain cell, and should therefore be able to assess the motivations of those involved.

    • felix 27.1

      tk/ts/whatever you’re calling yourself this morning,

      If you’re going to accuse P’s b of operating at your own reptilian brainstem level you could at least try to read what he’s already written on the matter.

      “But who knows. maybe they could find such a reason. I’d disagree with their action, but not with their right to make their case to a jury.

      Simple enough for you, you devolved reactionary freak?

  28. freedom 28

    ” i challenge you to read page 26 of this leaked cia report
    then tell me who the criminals are
    http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/CIA.pdf

    just wondering if any of you accepted the challenge to absorb some reality

    • Pascal's bookie 28.1

      Yeah, I’m making my way through it..

      damn those aq supporting ACLU types eh?

      Complicating the pretty picture of elections and freedom sexy whisky for Iraqi.

  29. Graham 29

    Yes, I had a quick glance through about five pages, but before I expend any more time and energy on it, answer me this.

    How do you know it’s genuine?

  30. freedom 30

    Is the document genuine?
    let me ask you , Are your stock reports genuine?

    i know it is as genuine, as anything else that comes out of a computer but have i seen the raw pages, of course not. I personally have a lot of faith in the ACLU for fact-checking and authentication processes. they simply could not do their job without it.

    The source for the file itself i also trust

    Through personal checks on signatures, panel appointees etc, and looking at seals, date stamp types from examples available, published and archived on numerous US Government sites, and previous released documents, i can only say; ” i sincerely believe the documents to be genuine ”

    READ PAGE 26 AND TELL ME THAT IT IS A FORGERY READ IT AND START TO TRUST TRUTH BECAUSE TRUTH IS ALL WE HAVE LEFT PEOPLE . TRUTH IS ALL YOU HAVE .

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