Police informants are go!
Last weekend, Rob Gilchrist was exposed as a paid police informant, a role he’d fulfilled for the last 10 years. Recently, Rob has also — and unsurprisingly — been exposed as a provocateur, and as someone whose information was utilised by police in pursuing convictions against the people arrested in October last year on trumped-up charges.
On Monday, October 15th 2007, more than 300 police carried out dawn raids on dozens of houses all over Aotearoa / New Zealand. Police claim the raids were in response to ‘concrete terrorist threats’ from indigenous activists. 20 people are facing charges under the Arms Act, in a trial that could take several years.
The Greens have called for some kinda investigation into Rob’s tricksy pursuit of the preciousss information. In another unsurprising development, the NZ Government has supported the NZ Police Minister has supported the NZ Police Commissioner has supported the NZ police has supported Rob Gilchrist.
Legal Update – December 2008
In November, the crown brought new charges of ‘participation in a criminal group’ against five people arrested in the nation-wide State Terror raids of 15 October 2007. These five people are Tame Iti, Rangi Kemara, Tuhoe Lambert, Emily Bailey and Urs Signer. These five and the remaining 13 other defendants are all charged with possession of weapons and possession of restricted weapons (molotov cocktails).
On 18 November, the Crown made an application to the Auckland High Court to have all of the proceedings transferred there, instead of heard in the district court. The application was opposed by all but one of the defendants’ lawyers and has been adjourned until March 2009.
There are a number of legal matters that need to be addressed over the coming months including applications of ‘no case to answer’ for particular charges (in essence that there is no evidence) and an application relating to inadmissibility of evidence.
At present, all such applications are on hold until a decision on where the case will be heard is made. Stay tuned to the website www.October15thSolidarity.info for updates on the legal situation. In the meantime, organise a solidarity action or fundraiser in your neighborhood! ~ October 15th Solidarity Newsletter, No.9, December 2008 [PDF]
See also : Police spying target claim disputed, Martin Kay, The Dominion Post, December 26, 2008 “An activist spied on by police has hit out at police claims they only spied on individuals, releasing excerpts from police emails with detailed questions about the activities of protest groups… In one, police sought details of planned action across an entire category of protest activity. It said: “Climate Change Groups: What is happening with climate change groups in Auckland? Who is involved? What actions might they be considering for the future? What specific plans are in place for Climate Day of Action 07/07?”” | The idiotorial staff at The Timaru Herald show their support for police (Editorial: Surveillance part of policing, December 16, 2008) | On a brighter note, The limits to tolerance of the police, The Standard, December 16, 2008