8 May 2012

Crown won't pursue retrial of Urewera Four

10:26 pm on 8 May 2012

Members of the group known as the Urewera Four will not be re-tried on a charge of being part of an organised criminal group.

In March this year, Tame Iti, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, Urs Signer and Emily Bailey were convicted of the illegal possession of firearms and restricted weapons in Te Urewera National Park in 2007.

However, the Auckland High Court jury could not reach a verdict on the lead charge.

Tame Iti's lawyer Russell Fairbrother says the Crown contacted him on Tuesday evening to advise that a stay had been granted by the Solicitor- General, putting a stop to all proceedings.

He says the Crown gave no reasons for not prosecuting further, and nor does it have to.

Mr Fairbrother says he is yet to speak to his client, but is pleased and relieved the matter has now come to an end.

"I think that we would have got the same results with a retrial and there would have been a lot more money wasted. So we can all draw a line under it now and move on in our lives.

"It's been very expensive and not very much has been achieved with that money."

Iti, Kemara, Signer and Bailey will be sentenced on the firearm charges on 24 May.