Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Dangerous terrorists"

When the government descended on Ruatoki, Auckland and Wellington on the morning of October 15 2007, they justified their enormous use of force - 300 armed offenders squad members - with the claim that they were arresting dangerous terrorists. As the years dragged on and charges were dropped or rejected by a jury, that claim became more and more untenable. And now, with the sentencing of Urs Signer and Emily Bailey, we get to see just how laughable they were.

Signer and Bailey were sentenced to nine months home detention. To point out the obvious, that's not the sort of sentence you give to "dangerous terrorists" who seriously plotted to overthrow the state and wage war against their fellow citizens.

So what have the police got at the end of it all? After five years, unknown operational costs, and at least $4 million in legal costs (with appeals still pending), they have two people in prison on highly-appealable sentences, and two on home detention. That doesn't seem like very good value for money to me. If the government wants savings, then cutting the police body which dreamed up and pursued this case would seem to be the first place to start - because all they do is piss away taxpayer's money on deranged fantasies.