16 May 2013

Not guilty plea entered on firearms charge

8:01 pm on 16 May 2013

A man arrested on a firearms charge after police searched his farm after the killing of a road worker at Atiamuri in March has pleaded not guilty in Rotorua District Court.

The man, who has interim name suppression, is charged with having an unsecured loaded firearm.

In April, police searched his property not far from Rotorua, but said his arrest was unrelated to the shooting of George Taiaroa, 67, on 19 March near Atiamuri in the Kinleith forest.

Through his lawyer, the man pleaded not guilty and was remanded on bail until 25 June.

Under his bail conditions, the accused is not allowed to possess a firearm.

Lawyer Murray McKechnie submitted a High Court judgement which he said stood in the way of a successful prosecution and asked that police reconsider their position before the next hearing.