Urewera Operation Eight still before courts

March 26, 2012

Former Police Minister Annette King was interviewed about the Urewera trial on Q&A yesterday.

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson wasn’t impressed:

This morning Labour MP Annette King appeared on television and made allegations about the Operation Eight investigation which occurred when she was Police Minister.

There are three on-going matters in the trials arising out of that operation:

1. The defendants’ sentencing on the firearms charges where guilty verdicts were returned;

2. The possibility of the defendants appealing those guilty verdicts; and

3. The Crown Solicitor’s decision on whether or not to seek a re-trial on the charges where no verdict was returned.

It is extremely disappointing a former minister of the Police would make these comments on television when she knows full well the Court process must run its course without political interference.

Government ministers will be making absolutely no comment while these matters are unresolved.

It is inappropriate for anyone, but particularly for politicians, to comment publicly on matters that are before the Courts.


Not what accused did but way police did it

September 17, 2011

The charges against the bulk of people arrested in the 2007 Urewera terror raids were dropped not because of the evidence but the way it was gathered.

. . . the Crown case relied heavily on video footage taken of the accused carrying out what was alleged to be “armed military training exercises” held in 2006 and 2007.

Police had gained search warrants to enter private Maori land and then installed hidden cameras. But they did not have authorisation for covert filming and so it could not be used as evidence in court.


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