Judge finds Hamilton gym buff not guilty
A Hamilton man at the centre of an alleged drug and explosives bust has finally cleared his name.
Kurt von Keisenberg hit the headlines last year after the Army and police clandestine laboratory staff and police descended on his Hillcrest house in May.
They arrived after von Keisenberg voluntarily took in a bunch of pills and powders to police which he had been told might be illegal after being asked to appear for an interview on TVNZ's now defunct Close Up programme.
But yesterday he was vindicated after being found not guilty of importing a class B prohibited drug.
Outside court, von Keisenberg said he understood police were doing their job but was frustrated at the Close Up producers who he said ''didn't check their facts'' before running their story.
Von Keisenberg's brother, Ryan, also initially faced charges over the fiasco, but they were withdrawn earlier this month.
The Massey University chemistry major graduate had been importing party pills and selling them under the name Dime.
But it was during the search of his house that events got twisted. Police found a ''tablespoon'' full of TATP, the explosive triacetone triperoxide, known to be used by terrorists.
Von Keisenberg was charged with several offences including possession of an explosive and possession and importing of a class B drug.
For over a year these charges sat over his head until last month when several of the charges were withdrawn by police after it was discovered the ingredients of Dime were not illegal at the time he was importing them - though they are nowunder the new Psychoactive Substances Bill.
That left one charge of importing a class B prohibited drug GABA for which he went on trial in the Hamilton District Court this week and one of possesion of explosives which, while he argued he had the explosive to make fireworks, he later plead guilty to that charge and was this week fined $250.
In November 2011, the gym buff and former bodybuilder ordered containers of taurine, beta-Alanine to help post-work out and gamma-Aminobutyric acid, known as GABA, to help him sleep.
He never received it after it was intercepted by Customs who sent him a letter explaining it was prohibited. But after the search, police laid charges.
Crown prosecutor Rebecca Guthrie said von Keisenberg had the nous and experience to work out what was and what wasn't illegal.
But, von Keisenberg took to the stand and said although he knew his way around a computer he had no idea GABA was illegal and would not have imported if it was.
Judge Peter Spiller said he had enough reasonable doubt to find von Keisenberg did not have criminal intent when buying the powder, and found him not guilty.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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