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Lawyer For Wellington Accused Press Statement

Published: Mon 29 Oct 2007 02:15 PM
Lawyer For Wellington "Terror" Accused Issues Press Statement
Press Release From
Michael Bott - Wellington Lawyer
"Michael Bott lawyer for one of the 4 Wellingtonians remanded in custody on firearms charges finds it concerning that the doors to the High Court were open to hear the Crown's application to appeal a decision of the District Court to grant bail on the same day as the District Court gave its decision.
Yet despite filing a notice of appeal on the same day as the District Court declined bail to his client on the 19th of October, by the 26 October the High Court had yet even to allocate a date to hear his client's appeal.
Mr Bott has also had further difficulty in gaining phone access to his client who has now been transferred from Wellington to the same Auckland prison as where co-defendant Mr Lockett was assaulted.
Mr Bott attempted to phone his client on 5 occasions yesterday and was unable to speak to him. If the State are going to remand people in custody who are presumed to be innocent they should facilitate access to counsel.
How can a lawyer represent his client when he has been transferred to a prison at the other end of the North Island, where phone access appears to be by way of a single line Victorian phone system?
My client's case has been transferred to Auckland without his consent, he's been denied bail, he cannot speak to his lawyer, and whereas the Crown can gain access to the High Court to hear its appeal on the same day, my client has to wait over a week without even being given a date to hear his appeal.
These difficulties raise real concerns about the equality of arms between the Crown and my client who is remanded in custody, yet presumed to be innocent Mr Bott said."
ENDS

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