Archive for 25 May 2012

Sentencing the ‘Urewera four’ – an affront to our sense of justice?


Frank Macskasy Blog Frankly Speaking

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Let’s re-cap; Tame Iti,  Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, Urs Signer,  and Emily Bailey, were not found guilty of any terrorism-related charges. In fact, the Solicitor General, David Collins, refused permission to lay charges against any of the original “Urewera 18”, under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Instead, as the case dragged on,

  • Thirteen of the original 18 had all charges against them dropped (one passed away),
  • The remaining four had to wait  five years  to have their day in Court,
  • Those four were found guilty of firearms charges,
  • The jury came to no decision regarding the more serious charge of participating in an organised criminal group,
  • Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara were sentenced to jail for two and a half years,
  • Urs Signer and Emily Bailey may be sentenced to home detention.

In summing up, Judge Hansen ripped into all four with a sentencing summation that has angered many, and  defies  belief,

A private militia was being established. That is a frightening prospect to our society…  What possible other explanation could there be for what the participants were demonstrably doing?

Pardon me?!?!

Iti, Kemara, Signer, and Bailey, were found guilty of firearms charges – nothing else. They were not found guilty of terrorism, nor of belonging to an  “organised criminal group”.

Since when is a judge justified in making sweeping pronouncements regarding matters that none of the defendents were tried on?

This beggars belief, and  is a gross violation of basic principles of justice.

It is clear that Judge Hansen  exceeded his role in judging and sentencing the ‘Urewera 4’.

Sentencing Tami Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara to prison for two and half years for firearms offences that were committed in isolated areas; with no possible threat to the public; and no charges proven on more serious matters,  indicates that this was not a matter of justice – it was one of  punitive revenge by the State.

Like the original raids in 2007, conducted using para-military force, in full battle-regalia, and armed with high-powered, lethal  weapons, the sentencing of the ‘Urewera 4’ was an expression of the full coercive power of the State.

The movie ‘Sleeping Dogs’ became reality on 15  October  2007,


Frank Macskasy Blog Frankly Speaking


Frank Macskasy Blog Frankly Speaking


Which, of the above is from a fictional movie and which is from a real event? Is there any  difference at all?

This blogger condemns, in no uncertain terms, the comments made by Judge Hansen and the excessive sentence handed down to the defendents. This is not justice – this is abuse of power.

This blogger further calls for the following,

  1. The convictions against Tame Iti,  Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, Urs Signer,  and Emily Bailey, to be quashed.
  2. Judge Hansen to resign.
  3. An apology to be made to the Tuhoi people.

Nothing less will suffice.

Continued:  Sentencing the ‘Urewera four’ – an affront to our sense of justice? (Part Rua)



Mainstream Media

Ureweras case ‘destroyed relationships’

Former solicitor-general ‘changed raids advice’

‘Urewera Four’ pair jailed

Protest against jailing of Urewera pair

Tame Iti to appeal jail sentence

‘Urewera four’ members join Budget protests


Aotearoa Independent Media Centre: Free Taame and Rangi – protests today and tomorrow across the country

Beyond Resistance:  Free the Urewera 4: CHCH solidarity picket this Saturday

Capitalism Bad Tree Pretty:  What can they do to you? Whatever they want

Kiwipolitico:  The Crown Gets Its Pound of Flesh

Workers Party:  Urewera four – fight the imprisonments of Iti and Kemara

Tumeke:   Urewera 4 sentencing underway [Updates] BREAKING: 2.5 Years prison 😦

Tumeke:   Will Police Commissioner Peter Marshall still be so self-righteous after IPCA report into Urewera farce?

Mars 2 earth:  lighting a fuse

Redline:  Free the Urewera Four  Letter to the Editor – Hypocrisy at best?  May 24, 2012 Where is the Justice in all this?  Waiariki MP gutted at Urewera sentences



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