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Remaining charge dismissed for Urewera Four

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Latest Crime News | Tuesday May 8 2012 19:29

Remaining charge dismissed for Urewera Four

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An application to dismiss the remaining one charge against the Urewera Four - of participating in an organised criminal group - has been lodged in the High Court at Auckland.

Justice Brewer has accepted it, and dismissed all further action against the four.

A decision not to retry the Urewera Four was seen as inevitable.

In March, a High Court jury failed to reach a verdict on whether Tame Iti, Emily Bailey, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara and Urs Signer were guilty of participating in an organised criminal group.

Defence lawyer Russell Fairbrother says he's been told the group won't be retried.

AUT history professor Dr Paul Moon says that was almost inevitable.

"I think the crown probably weighed up the cost, the public benefit, and the likelihood of the verdict being changed and they thought on all three bases there's no point proceeding."

Tuhoe chief negotiator Tamati Kruger says it will be welcome news to all of Tuhoe.

"I think the view now is that we have turned a corner, and we can get on with the more serious job of trying to fix the damage that has been caused."

Mr Kruger says many of the families who were raided are stigmatised so can't get jobs and are broke after paying legal bills.

There's also hope the way is now clear for the relationship between Tuhoe and police to be repaired.

"We can hopefully find the will and the regard with the police to sit down have open discussions around the work of work repairing relationships," Mr Kruger says.  

The Urewera Four themselves are ecstatic they won't have to undergo a retrial.

Urs Signer says he's stoked at the news.

The group is due to be sentenced on the firearms convictions later this month.

Photo: NZ Herald

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