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Archive for March 17th, 2010

IF Only One Percent of kiwis …

Posted by te2ataria on March 17, 2010

IF Only One Percent of kiwis Were Like the Jury in the Spy Base Case

YOU could dismantle the oppressive government, close down the moneychangers, dismantle the military apparatus and put the murderous police force out of business and under psychiatric care,  without a single soul getting hurt…

The three peace activists who admitted breaking into the Government spy base at Waihopai, near Blenheim,  and slashing a massive condom which covered a satellite dish were found not guilty of all charges in the Wellington District Court.

Adrian Leason, Peter Murnane and Sam Land were tried on burglary and willful damage charges,  but a jury in Wellington District Court took only two hours to find the three men not guilty of all charges against them.

Schoolteacher Adrian Leason, farmer Sam Land and Dominican friar Peter Murnane walked free even though they had admitted breaking into the Waihopai spy base and destroying an inflatable plastic dome that covered the satellite dish.

“The men were each charged with two charges of wilful damage and one of burglary, after they were arrested at the Waihopai facility, operated by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in April 2008,” according to a report.

The trio said they they intended to shut down the base, even if temporarily,  because it caused human suffering.

Adrian Leason said outside the court he was delighted that the group had accomplished its mission.

“Our little…action is, in a sense complete. We’ve prepared, we’ve done an action, we’ve had the trial, we’ve given each other a hug and now it’s over,” he told NZPA.

Peter Murnane also said their mission had been successful.

“We wanted, in going into Waihopai, to challenge these warfaring behaviours and I think we have done this,” he said.

“We have shown New Zealanders there is a US spy base in our midst.”

“Australian non-violence activist Bryan Law, who had come across the Tasman to support and blog about the trial, said the jury’s decision accorded with those made by other jurors in similar cases in other countries.”

“Of all of the millions of people that marched in 2003 (to protest the Iraq War), had only 1 percent of them taken this sort of action, the war would not have been possible.

“We don’t need to be saved by the politicians – we can save ourselves.

“In his closing arguments today, Leason’s lawyer Michael Knowles said the men were driven by a belief that the satellite caused human suffering and their actions to shut it down, if only temporarily, were lawful.” The report said.

“That belief doesn’t have to be correct,” he said.

“They had a belief in a higher law, a law for protecting people.”

Murnane said he believed the satellite aided crimes against humanity.

“I had to do this, it was necessary for me,” he said.

“Land’s lawyer, Tony Shaw, said his client genuinely believed his actions were lawful, and he should be acquitted.”

The Green Party’s foreign affairs spokesman, Keith Locke,  was reported as saying that the evidence presented at the trial, including a testimony by a former British agent, Katharine Gun, proved that  the spy base was collecting intelligence on behalf of the United States government.

“This included intelligence to help the United States prosecute the Iraq war, even though the New Zealand Government was opposed to that war,” he said.

“I hope that the not guilty verdict will help break down the blanket of secrecy that successive governments have imposed around the operations of the base, and its true purpose.”  Mr Locke said.

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