Wednesday, March 30, 2011

turn on the light

News that the Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court Ruling that the Urewera 18 are to be tried in front of a judge and not a jury, concerns me. The light of day needs to shine on the events of the terror raids, we do not need shadows.

Despite objections by the defence for the 18 accused, the Court of Appeal yesterday announced it would uphold the High Court ruling. Suppression orders prevent the publication of the reasons behind both courts' decisions. The 18 accused, including Tuhoe activist Tame Iti, face various charges under the Arms Act as a result of the 2007 raids.
I agree with John Minto's view
Political activist John Minto said the decision was dangerous. "I think it's really disappointing. It would be better for it to be left up to citizens to decide," he said. "A group of citizens independent of the state should make the call on these charges. I think it is [dangerous] in terms of public confidence. "There are big question marks over this case." Mr Minto said it was "widely regarded" that police overreacted in the raids and charges. "The police have put their credibility on the line in this case. It will be much better dealt with by ordinary citizens who will look at the evidence and make a reasoned judgment. There is a tendency for different parts of the state to protect others."
Idiot/Savant has blogged about it here, here and here.
I have not seen the ruling yet, but the same criticisms I made of the original decision apply: a jury is the primary signifier of a fair trial in this country. Without one, we can have no confidence in the verdict. And that ought to be deeply concerning, no matter whether you think the accused are innocent or guilty.
And Rob at the Standard has a good post up on the decision here
Given the controversy surrounding the original raids, the legal system should be bending over backwards to conduct a process that is above reproach. Instead, they are doing the exact opposite.

The case is surrounded by suppression orders so not much can be said about it but the truth about these terror raids needs to see the light of day. This trial is one way for the truth to come out but unfortunately...

1 comment:

Zia Wolf-Sun said...

Supression orders are just another way of ensuring justice is never done and the silent terrorism of individuals can take place without ever becoming public knowledge. Who do they think they're fooling?!! These injustices cannot hide in the cover of "the shadows" forever...the truth WILL by it's very nature shine bright and clear in the end.