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Urewera Trial - Court weekly round up - Week 2, Feb 20-24


The week ended blissfully early at 1pm. The crown case continued this morning with a number of police witnesses Detective Lunjevich was cross examined first thing this morning concerning video footage from the October 2007 wananga. In particular, defence lawyers questioned the detective about the veracity of the footage and why were only certain people arrested despite the fact that a number of other people are clearly identifiable in the video footage. He was asked if he attends protests. He said that he had attended one - the US/NZ partnership in September 2007 in order to identify Urs. He said that as part of the SIG in Auckland, he did not normally attend protests. He said another unit dealt with 'issue motivated groups' - but he went on to say that the SIG (special investigation group) in Wellington and Christchurch were 'seperate entities' whose ambit was different than Auckland.

He was followed by John Matheson who gave evidence about exhibits found at Whetu Road in Ruatoki in October 2007. He was followed by

Michael Stone of the Wellington CIB who was in charge of exhibits at Ira Bailey's house. He was followed by John Attwood of the Wellington CIB who gave evidence about exhibits at the camp site in Te Aro, Wellington. He detailed finding a .22 marlin rifle, along with a bread bag and a tent especially for a dog.

He was followed by a re-appearance of Detective Matheson who showed a video of the Whetu Road river scene in order to orient the jury.

That was the end of the day.

The week was short due to a juror illness on Monday and Tuesday, and a short day today. Nevertheless, the nature of such trials is that they are boring and tiresome affairs. The crown's star witnesses - two young men who attended a wananga in January 2007 - were at least as helpful as harmful to the defence case. Their evidence did not implicate any of the defendants in any criminal activity whatsoever.

The jury was shown several hours of video of footage from the September and October camps, but since it is not only not a cinematic masterpiece, but in fact is so boring that if you blink you miss it altogether most of the jurors tuned out. As a result the crown decided not to show all of the October footage for fear of killing the jury with boredom. The alleged 'molotov cocktail' footage shows nothing more than people randomly running across the screen in the bush from time to time. It is difficult to know how the crown can sustain such a charge. While both the September and October footage show a number of people carrying what appear to be firearms, it is actually hard to know if these are the defendants, or if they are firearms. In some cases, the people are trial are clearly not there.


Trial will end sooner than scheduled.

The crown has said that their case is likely to be finished in a week and a half. This is in stark contrast to their emphatic requirement for a 6 week prosecution case. The reality was the crown said a trial when there was 15 defendants was going to take 6 weeks - they maintained that a trial of only 4 people was going to take 6 weeks as well. This was a deliberate strategy of the crown to seriously disrupt people's lives and set the defence up to be unprepared.


Accommodation available

If you would like to come support the defendants in Auckland and need a place to stay, please email us as the four would love to see lots of friendly faces in court. Email


re names

Hey, just a double check on this. Are the people who houses were searched allowed to be identified in relation to the evidence? Esp if no longer part of trial?

Anyone is allowed to

Anyone is allowed to mentioned in the trial, if they have name suppression then it won't be made public.