Molotov cocktail talk in Urewera court files

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 05:00 29/09/2011

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Newly released court documents from the Urewera "terror-raids" trials show some of the participants talked about being trained in the use of Molotov cocktails and about "modified things" that could kill if thrown in a window.

A raft of pre-trial judgments have been released following the discharge of 13 of the original Urewera 17, who were arrested following police surveillance of military-style training camps in the Urewera Ranges in 2007.

One of the judgments, concerning the case of Ira Bailey, who has since been discharged, referred to evidence obtained from internet chatrooms.

Mr Bailey's computer was seized and the Crown was going to use chatroom logs that showed him talking to co-accused Whiri Kemara referring to "modified things that could easily kill someone if you chuck it in their windows".

The defence objected on the grounds that there was no evidence Mr Bailey used an explosive type of device at any purported camp.

The objection was over-ruled by Justice Winkelmann and the evidence was allowed to be used, though the trial never went ahead.

"Mr Bailey denies attending the camps, possessing firearms or Molotov cocktails," the judgment said.

"The chat room evidence tends to connect Mr Bailey to the camp, firearms and Molotov cocktails. It is therefore highly probative of the matters at issue."

The 13 accused were discharged following a Supreme Court ruling that ruled out surveillance footage the police had gathered.

The four remaining members of the group – Tame Iti, Emily Bailey, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara and Urs Signer – will still face trial for being part of a criminal group and possession of firearms in February.

Other judgments released by the court show the defence objecting to the use of the word "training camp" as it gave a "sinister" overtone to the proceedings.

That was also over-ruled.

Wellington activist Valerie Morse tried to have her charges dismissed, claiming there was little or no evidence that she attended the camps.

Police said there was footage of someone believed to be Ms Morse throwing a Molotov cocktail at one of the camps.

The person was wearing the same clothes as Ms Morse had been observed wearing en route to the camp.

The judgments refer to many pieces of evidence where the participants discussed attending "rama", which police said was the code word for the camps.

Some of the participants were alleged to use false names for themselves when discussing attending the camps.

Ms Morse was said to call herself Emma Goldman. Despite denying being at the camps she was seen travelling to Ruatoki, near the camps and there was evidence she discussed staying at the camps in internet chatrooms.

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When her house was searched at the termination of "Operation 8" she was found to have two live rounds of ammunition, a black balaclava and a "green ex-military ammunition carrier". There were also said to be photographs of her holding firearms.

-Fairfax NZ

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