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Waihopi Domebusters Marlborough Express – 2010

21 March, 2010

The Editor, Marlborough Express, PO Box 242 , 62-64 Arthur Street , Blenheim 7274

Dear Sir;

One clarification you need to understand about the trial of the Waihopai Ploughshares is that the judge specifically and plainly noted to the court in the time I was observing from the public gallery that the “claim of right” defense was not available for the kind of action which the defendants took at the spy base, and that led to a very narrow direction to the jury by the judge.  Your editorial seems to indicate otherwise.

It is unfortunate that the claim of right defense was not allowed.  For the law to be respected it must be relevant.  It must advance the cause of justice, and in our time on a global scale.  The testimony of the three defendants was compelling in describing what the spy base does and what use the intercepted communications (e-mails, phone, etc) are put to.  Actions, such as theirs at the base run by the Government Security Communications Bureau (GCSB) for the American’s National Security Agency, to help prevent the unfair political pressure, torture, and war making which their testimony described, should be viewed as legitimate attempts to advance justice in the world.

Had the claim of right defense been allowed, then the jury would likely have faced a different  direction from the judge, and moreover the issues of justice and the role of the GCSB might be more clearly debated now in the post-trial commentary.

Sincerely, Richard Keller

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