'For freedom fighters around the country', says Tame Iti
Friday November 09, 2007 By Edward Gay
Freed Tuhoe activist Tame Iti thanked his supporters in emotional scenes outside the Auckland High Court this evening.
After beating terror charges yesterday, Iti was released on bail from the Auckland High Court just after 5pm this evening.
"It's for freedom fighters all around the country. Thank you for your support," Iti told his followers.
Earlier, Justice Cooper approved his bail amid scenes of high excitement from Tuhoe supporters.
Iti and four others, who were also released on bail, will return to the Auckland District Court on December 3.
The five are facing firearms charges following the Solicitor-General David Collins' decision yesterday not to allow police to bring terrorism charges against any of the 'Urewera 16'.
The accused had their bail hearings heard in two groups with four people - Valerie Morse, Emily Bailey, Omar Hamed and a Swiss national who has name suppression - receiving bail, before Iti entered the dock.
Iti then received a separate bail hearing and was awarded bail.
The decisions sparked scenes of jubilation in the court, forcing Justice Cooper to remind the public that his courtroom was not a place for such scenes.
Their successful bail application followed that of a co-accused, 38-year-old Whiri Kemara, who was bailed this morning.
In a dramatic afternoon, all members of the public and the media were asked to leave the courtroom while the crown prosecutor presented secret police evidence in relation to the bail application against the accused to the court.
Justice Cooper said that the five accused faced charges under the Arms Act which carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison and up to $5000 in fines.