Urewera appeal fails
The Court of appeal has rejected the appeal on both convictions and sentences for Urs, Taame, Rangi and Emily.
The four have the option of going to the Supreme Court. This may be a good option as the Court of Appeal was unable to reach a definitive conclusion on the issue of the use of illegal evidence to pursue the criminal group charge (Sec 98A of the Crimes Act) when there wasn't any additional evidence.
The Court of Appeal said:"we are bound by the decision of the Supreme Court that the evidence was admissible" so the four will have to take the issue up with the Supreme Court. You can read download the full decision here.
In brief, the argument is that the Crown brought charges against four of the 18 people charged more than a year after the original arrests, and after the Fairfax contempt hearing had finished. They brought this charge in order to be able to use evidence which they knew to have been illegally obtained, and used this more serious charge as the method for shoring up its eventual admission by the High Court (under the evidence act, evidence that is illegally obtained can be admitted if it is ruled to be 'reasonable' - an oxymoron if ever there was one).
So Operation 8 continues. Our two comrades remain in prison tonight and our other two comrades will be expecting the Department of Corrections back shortly to replace their home detention 'jewelry' which had been removed pending the appeal.
Love and solidarity to the Urewera 4.