Wednesday, May 09, 2012

No retrial

So, Crown Law has finally admitted defeat and announced that it will not be seeking a retrial for the Urewera Four on "organised criminal group" charges. Good. Those charges were fundamentally a stand-in for the terrorism charges the crown couldn't lay in the first place, and they were as absurd as they were offensive. The defendants have been duly convicted of what they actually did - messing around with guns and molotov cocktails - and will be sentenced appropriately. A retrial would have served no purpose other than to defend police pride (which is not worth wasting a single dollar on).

And now that this is over, perhaps we can move on to the very real problems with the New Zealand Police exposed by this debacle. Kicking over an entire community in search of a handful of people. A relaxed (charitably; others would call it downright deceitful) attitude to the need for surveillance warrants. An obsession with spying. There needs to be a formal inquiry, and an apology to those the police victimised. Sadly, given current police attitudes, that looks about as likely as admitting their malfeasance over Arthur Allen Thomas all those years ago.