Greenpeace protesters asked to pay $700,000

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 22/11/2012
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Greenpeace protesters on the Noble Discoverer.

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Arguments over the large amount of reparation being called for from Greenpeace protesters are delaying their sentencing.

Eight Greenpeace protesters, headed by Lucy Lawless, are being asked to pay $700,000 after pleading guilty earlier this year to illegally boarding the drillship Noble Discoverer in February.

The protest disrupted preparations for the ship's departure from Port Taranaki, New Plymouth to the Arctic.

The group was to be sentenced in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday but because of the holiday break this is now likely to be postponed until early next year.

Rob Jager, of Shell New Zealand, said yesterday police and the court were dealing with the matter.

"The Greenpeace occupation posed serious health and safety risks to the crew and the protesters themselves.

"All activities on the vessel were stopped for a period of time, causing delays to preparations for departure," Mr Jager said.

Police had asked Shell for information relating to the impact of the Greenpeace activists' unlawful activities.

"Shell is assisting the police and the court with their inquiry into the costs associated with the delay to the operator, Shell Todd Oil Services."

To date the figure of more than $700,000 was the estimated cost to the Noble Discoverer contractor, Shell Todd Oil Services, of the delay caused by the Greenpeace occupation, Mr Jager said.

Senior Sergeant Malcolm Greig confirmed yesterday the sentencing was adjourned and a new date was yet to be scheduled.

In the meantime, police continued to work with the victims, Shell, to verify the reparation amount, he said.

If a reparation agreement between defence and prosecution cannot be reached a reparation hearing will be scheduled.

By law, it was for the prosecution to seek a reparation order on behalf of any victims.

And it was for the defence to accept or not accept all or some of the reparation sought by the prosecution, Mr Greig said.

It was then for the court to determine if reparation was appropriate and the amount.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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