Confirmed: No retrial for Urewera Four

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(CHARLES ANDERSON, stuff.co.nz)The Urewera Four will not be retried on charges of being part of an organised criminal group.

Fairfax understands when the case is called in the High Court at Auckland tomorrow, the Crown will not seek a retrial.

It has the option of asking for one.

The mammoth five-year-old case lurched to an anticlimactic end in March with the four accused found guilty of some firearms charges, not guilty of others, and the jury hung on the most serious charge of participating in an organised criminal group.

Tame Iti, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, Emily Bailey, and Urs Signer were found guilty of several charges each of illegal possession of firearms and restricted weapons, including Molotov cocktails.

They were found not guilty of possession of firearms at November 2006 and April 2007 camps and not guilty of unlawfully possessing a shotgun at an August 2007 camp.

The Crown case alleged the four accused were the ringleaders of “military-style” training camps in the Urewera Ranges between November 2006 and October 2007.

They said the accused were training with Molotov cocktails and firearms for a violent revolution, which would take place if diplomatic Crown negotiations over Tuhoe land fell through.

But the defence argued the defendants were merely holding an informal wananga and training for potential security work in the Middle East or Africa.

The four will be sentenced on firearms charges later this month.

Kemara’s lawyer, Jeremy Bioletti, said he opposed a re-trial. “It’s a charge that is so nebulous that anyone can be guilty of anything.”

The police officer in charge of the case, Detective Inspector Bruce Goode, said police stood by their investigation and the case presented in court.

“The evidence we had was concerning and alarming.”

The process had clarified a “grey area” in the law, he said.

4 COMMENTS

  1. What evidence is there that racism was a factor? The only racism came from those texting about killing white people. The culprits who were caught on camera with balaclavas, roleplaying carjacking and kidnapping, and physically caught with illegal weapons and plans for making explosives, have only themselves to blame. They should be grateful that their stupidity and lack of skill makes their entire operation look harmless. A couple of years should get that Tama Iti ponce back to earth – imagine prancing around in a bow tie and top hat. What a poser!

  2. I currently reside in Sydney Australia and was in NZ at the time of the Raid. I was 14 at the time and I was quite disgusted by the way it took place & handled by the police. It didn’t need to be handled like it was, a bit over exadurated like it was Gaddafi in NZ. Its a real concern that our tamariki were first hand witnesses of it all.. what a shame. Something needs to be done and quick at that because there’s more NZ’s that reside overseas than there actually is in NZ.

  3. Watch out the police will start looking for something else to blame the maori for i was still living in rotorua when this happened my pakeha friend was driving through that area doing deliveries to napier and they said to him mate watch out for the natives they are training with guns all the while holding a semi automatic gun and waving it around with kids close by. I live in queensland now a far cry from home over here they have heard about that month in question and can’t believe it is still filled with racism oh well. My heart goes out to the innocent tamariki who were effected from the cops actions they are the real victims hope we can make a difference for our race

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