Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Ending the persecution of the Waihopai Three

Back in 2008, three peace activists broke into the GCSB/NSA spy base at Waihopai and deflated one of the satellite domes. They were subsequently prosecuted for criminal damage, but acquitted by a jury. The government, in an act of petty vindictiveness, has since been pursuing them for $1.2 million of damages. It knows they can never pay, so the sole object is to drive them into bankruptcy as punishment for standing up to the spies.

But now the government seems to have come to its senses and is ending this persecution:

The Crown has dropped its civil lawsuit against the three men who caused more than $1 million in damage to a spy base in Marlborough.

In 2008, Dominican friar Peter Murnane, farmer Samuel Land and teacher Adrian Leason entered Waihopai and punctured an inflatable dome covering a large satellite dish.

The three peace protesters believed the base was being used to further the Iraq war.

Good. The government had its go at them with criminal charges, and they failed. Anything else is simply persecution. Meanwhile, I'm wondering how much this pointless and petty act of vengeance has cost us. One million? Two? How many school lunches could that have paid for? Hopefully some enterprising journalists will find out in the next few days.