Everyone knows there is a spybase in Waihopai, nowSome time ago, musician Jeff Simmond wrote a song and produced a video recorded outside the Waihopai spybase which you can see here. One line is “ I bet you didn’t know there is a spybase in Waihopai.
Everyone who has had any recent exposure to the media knows there is a spybase in Waihopai, now.
The Waihopai 3 were acquitted in court of acting against the law in damaging the Waihopai spybase, as they had a “claim of right”. Crown Law has decided against an appeal, but released a statement [PDF] indicating that civil proceedings to cover the estimated $1.1m damages is not being ruled out. That`ll be a waste of taxpayers money according to Green MP Keith Locke.
Fr Peter Murnane, a pensioner, said on Morning Report today that any attempt to recover damages is merely paying for the exposure of torture and will be defended. And defending their actions - with or without civil proceedings - is part of the Waihopai 3’s protest in creating further awareness of the spybase.
The Waihopai 3 have little money –certainly not $1.1m. According to Adrian Leason, Murnane has some loose change, Leason has $400 in his bank account, and Sam Land keeps his money under his mattress and it's only a matter of hundreds. They’ve already forked out a few hundred for the farmers fence they damaged in getting to the spybase, presumably because damage to the fence was not seen to prevent war in Iraq.
Any civil proceedings will merely send a message that the powerful Crown, in certain circumstances, aims to treat certain people that have been found innocent in a court of law as if they had been found guilty in a court of law. Even if it is not successful in recovering damages.
If Crown Law does not like the claim of right defence, there is a simple solution: remove it from our statute books in the same way as was done for the partial defence of provocation.