17 September 2009
In a monumental Court decision, Judge Helen Winkelmann of the Auckland High Court last week threw out 6 of the 9 land search warrants authorised by the Court in the “Tuhoe Terrorist” raids in 2007. The Judge ruled there was “No reasonable grounds for issue of (the) warrants“. Winkelmann J also ruled the Police did not have implied licence to be on the various roads and track for the purpose of covert surveillance.
Counter-intuitively the Judge ruled the searches and seizures did not constitute unreasonable search and seizure under s 21 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. The legal admissibility of the evidence collected in the illegal raids is to be the subject of another hearing.
In an 81-page judgment, Justice Winkelmann plodded methodically through the law and evidence to reach a conclusion which guts the Police and New Zealand Solicitor General’s original claim that a gang of dangerous terrorists threatened New Zealand’s clean-green image, and life itself. Her ruling gingerly points the finger instead at the illegality of the Police raids and seizures which occurred with the complicity of some New Zealand Judges.