INDEPENDENT NEWS

Wgtn. "Terror" Accused & Appeals Moved To Auck.

Published: Mon 29 Oct 2007 03:11 PM
Remaining Wellington "Terror" Accused Moved To Auckland
Wellington High Court Bail Appeals Also Moved To Auckland
By Alastair Thompson
Two Wellington women activists accused in the so-called "Terrorist Training Camps" case have been transferred to Auckland without notification of family and friends. The transfer took place early today and family and friends were shocked not to be able to visit their loved ones today.
Meanwhile Justice John Wilde in the Wellington High Court has transferred four "terror" case accused's bail appeals to the Auckland registry today citing a lack of resources in Wellington to hear the appeals.
In Auckland the Crown managed to get an urgent bail appeal held on the same day that one of the accused - Jamie Lockett - was bailed on October 16. His bail was overturned in the High Court.
Tame Iti has been given a bail application appeal date of November 7th by the Rotorua High Court.
At the weekend the lawyer for one of the Wellington accused Michael Bott alleged unequal treatment in the High Court in relation to the availability of bail hearings. (See Press Release Lawyer For Wellington Accused Press Statement)
"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," Mr Bott said.
"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."
The two women who have been moved to Auckland - aged 30 and 36 - both have name suppression.
They are scheduled to appear in Auckland on Thursday and Friday for a collective call-over hearing with most of the other 17 terror accused.
One of the female "terror" suspects - the 36 year old- was scheduled to appear in court tomorrow for a depositions hearing in relation to a previous/separate charge. As she has now been moved to Auckland this hearing may no longer be able to proceed.
A depositions hearing was also scheduled tomorrow for a Wellington resident 22-year-old male musician in relation to charges laid as a result of the same peace protest earlier this year.
Michael Bott - the lawyer for the 22 year old musician - told Scoop today that "everything was up in the air" in relation to the hearing scheduled for tomorrow. The musical activist was transferred to Auckland last week.
When all Wellington accused appeared in court on 19th October all opposed transfer of their cases to Auckland. However Judge Bruce Davidson agreed to the transfer in spite of the hearing date scheduled for October 30th and whilst acknowledging that their transfer would prejudice their ability to consult their lawyers.
(continuing…)
Alastair Thompson
Scoop Publisher
Alastair Thompson is the co-founder of Scoop. He is of Scottish and Irish extraction and from Wellington, New Zealand. Alastair has 24 years experience in the media, at the Dominion, National Business Review, North & South magazine, Straight Furrow newspaper and online since 1997. He is the winner of several journalism awards for business and investigative work.
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