Latest News

Crown seeking jail term for Urewera 4


  • Ratings12345

20120524-100840.jpg

(stuff.co.nz) The ‘Urewera Four’ sentencing is shaping up as a battle with the Crown believing jail terms are necessary while the four ask for discharges without conviction.

Crown prosecutor Ross Burns has begun what is expected to be a lengthy sentencing by commenting on the unusual nature of how far apart the Crown and defence are in their submissions.

The four – Tame Iti, Urs Signer, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara and Emily Bailey – escaped a retrial on charges of participating in an organised criminal group but are today being sentenced in the High Court at Auckland for firearms offences.

Burns has told the court the crimes were serious and jail terms were in order.

“The suggestion that police should have gone up to Mr Iti and told him to pull his head in is naive in the extreme. Firearms are not a joke.”

Burns said the four’s defence lawyers will argue for discharges without conviction – in essence, no penalty.

After a six-week trial earlier this year, all but Signer were found guilty of five charges of unlawful possession of firearms, and one charge of unlawful possession of a restricted weapon – Molotov cocktails.

Urs Signer was found guilty on four charges of unlawful possession of firearms, and one charge of unlawful possession of a restricted weapon.

Iti, Kemara and Bailey were found not guilty of four firearms charges, and Signer not guilty of five.

The jury could not decide on the most serious charge laid against the four – participating in an organised criminal group.

The Crown decided this month not to pursue a retrial on that charge, because doing so would add further expense to an already high cost case, and unprecedented media coverage could make it difficult to find an impartial jury.

However the four could still end up behind bars as the penalties for the possession of firearms and restricted weapons are a maximum four-year sentence and $5000 fine.

For Swiss-born New Zealand resident Signer, the sentence could also lead to deportation.

The trial jury were asked to decide whether Iti, Kemara, Bailey and Signer were participating in military training camps in the Urewera ranges in October 2007, or if the four were engaged in a more innocent pursuit, teaching people skills to gain employment in the security industry in the Middle East.

- © Fairfax NZ News

Latest Tweets

  • DigitalMaori@misstahi @HemiHorne yes please that would be awesome about 2 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@traceyrcooper @n8tvaffairs @publicaddress perhaps we all need to figure out how to better work 2gether? about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@justjenine and now my 9yr son wants to teach me. So cool. about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@traceyrcooper @n8tvaffairs @publicaddress I do. Tv3 got blocked, TvNZ got blocked. We walked out and didn't cover the last day #solidarity about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@chrisclaynz kia ora Chris. Awesome brother. Plz email me potaua@gmail.com. Can't wait to hear more. about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @misstahi: @misstahi: Amazing new exhibition in Wellington central - Johnson Witehira's Land of Tara #maori #taranaki http://t.co/VPmoum… about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @publicaddress: New post: A little journalistic solidarity with Native Affairs and http://t.co/byVKuxp0YB http://t.co/CjQa2g4izc @Digita… about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@RichDecibels @Loomio kia ora Rich. Awesome! Will be in touch soon. Exciting. about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriOccupyNZ interviews Hone Harawira at #Mana #AGM https://t.co/mUH6dQitim about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@AnkyraDAnatolia @VignaMichela @mycrixus that's correct PUKANA!! http://t.co/rDnXCWacYH about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriHOME!! Love that smell of the forest, the sulphur, the rain here in #Rotorua. Many many thanks @gnat for the invite to #kiwifoo. Kia ora! about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@VignaMichela @mycrixus @AnkyraDAnatolia so I just said "powerful pukana cousin Manu!" in te reo #Maori about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@VignaMichela @mycrixus @AnkyraDAnatolia kia ora. Manu/Crixus of the tribe Te Arawa in NZ is pulling a pukana, eyes big, tongue out #Maori about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @N8TVAFFAIRSTV: Coming up on Native Affairs: Tuhoe campaigners yesterday in Whakatane marching against the latest armed police... http:/… about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@nzpolice tino pouri taku ngakau. aroha ki te whanau pani. moe mai ra. about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@VignaMichela @mycrixus @AnkyraDAnatolia Kia kaha too pukana cuzzie Manu #TeArawa about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@NewmanFraser Go Atlantis! #Rotorua #greatselection #comicheaven about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@ellenstrickland @publicaddress @JCE_PC kia ora Ellen amazing weekend. heaps to think on. can't wait to get home to share sum #kiwifoo magic about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@mashmatix @Loomio @RichDecibels @SpatialFusionNZ ka pai! will do. get back to you in a couple days see how we get on. mauri ora! about 3 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @gibbstim: Kia Ora Cuz http://t.co/sYY4YhArew about 3 days ago