The right decision | The Jackal

27 Jul 2012

The right decision

Yesterday, TVNZ reported:

A dismissal of charges against a man involved in a flotilla protest against oil exploration sets a dangerous precedent, a leading maritime lawyer says.

Tauranga fisherman Elvis Teddy was arrested in April after joining a protest which saw four boats block the path of a Brazilian survey ship as it tried to enter the Raukumara Basin. The survey ship belonged to oil giant Petrobras.

Teddy was today let off charges of operating a vessel in an unsafe manner and resisting arrest after his lawyer argued the courts had no jurisdiction as the incident happened outside New Zealand's 12 nautical mile zone.

This is great news... However one has to wonder how much money the Crown has wasted in pursuing Elvis Teddy? Surely they must've known they didn't have jurisdiction, and if they weren't aware, questions as to the prosecutor's aptitude need to be asked.

If the Crown lawyers were aware of the jurisdiction issue, then the entire case should be viewed as judicially fictitious, and designed to cause those who oppose deep sea oil drilling as much grief as possible... Another completely unacceptable abuse of power in other words.