- Update : Judge overruled on bail decision, TVNZ, October 16: “A High Court judge has overruled a judge in the District Court over the granting of bail to one of the accused from Monday’s anti-terror raids. Judge Josephine Bouchier read to the court transcripts of Jamie Lockett’s intercepted communications. In them, Lockett allegedly spoke of training to be a vicious commando, he said he intended declaring war on New Zealand and he warned that white men would die. Lockett responded in court by saying the transcripts had been taken out of context. Judge Bouchier said she did not consider Jamie Lockett to be a threat to public safety and she granted him bail. The Crown then lodged a High Court appeal against Lockett’s bail, and early on Tuesday evening the bail was revoked…”
Stranger and stranger.
On the one hand, a media celebrity called “Bomber” (Martyn Bradbury) reckons “The shit is REALLY going to hit the fan” if and when the jaw-dropping truth behind yesterday’s raids are revealed to the New Zealand public; on the other, one of the 17 people so far charged in connection to the raids, Jamie Lockett, has today received bail. This despite the fact that police informed the court Lockett had declared ‘war’ (huh! what is it good for?) on New Zealand and was training to be a ‘commando’. Nevertheless, “Judge Josephine Bouchier said that on the evidence before her at the moment, Lockett could not be considered to pose such a significant danger to the public that he should be in custody” (Man arrested in raids ‘declared war on NZ’, court told). By way of background to Lockett’s case, the New Zealand Herald further reports that:
…Lockett – also arrested in Auckland – said his arrest on firearms charges came at a bad time, as he was due to begin a private prosecution against “a senior police officer” today. He told the court if he spent time in custody it would ruin months of preparation. The summary of facts also contained errors, he said, and he claimed to have been “kidnapped” by police in three different locations… (Tame Iti on gun and firebomb charges, October 16).
On the whole, while most police activity appears to be concentrated on revealing the existence of an alleged paramilitary training camp in “the remote Bay of Plenty settlement of Ruatoki” — run by a group dubbed the ‘Freedom Fighters’ by sections of the media, the exact aims of which remain somewhat obscure at this stage — it appears that police have taken the opportunity to engage in a fishing expedition involving a range of different activist groups, projects and communities. For example, in Christchurch police attempted to conduct a search of a house belonging to a spokesperson for the Save Happy Valley Coalition; in Wellington, police raided 128, a well-known activist household and meeting space; in Auckland (Tamaki Makaurau) police raided A Space Inside, which last month hosted an anarchist conference and which otherwise functions as a library, and provides local activists with a space for meetings, film screenings and the like.
Presumably, the coming days and weeks will reveal the extent to which police believe they have sufficient evidence to charge arrestees with offences under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 rather than the Firearms Act. As for now, and despite what is allegedly an operation which commenced 1–2 years ago involving all sorts of undercover shenanigans, police and other authorities appear reluctant to commit themselves to any particular (legal) course of action. But in the event they do pursue ‘terrorism’ charges, there’s little doubt that — the marginal voices of isolated critics notwithstanding — the general public has been well-prepared by the state/corporate media for this eventuality.