7 Dec 2022

No supporters show up for far-right Counterspin Media pair's latest court appearance

2:22 pm on 7 December 2022
Hannah Spierer and Kelvyn Alp leave the High Court at Christchurch, 7 December 2022.

Hannah Spierer and Kelvyn Alp. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

The hosts of far-right platform Counterspin Media have had an uneventful appearance in court on Wednesday, at least compared with August when the pair refused to enter the dock as their supporters clashed with protesters.

Kelvyn Alp and Hannah Spierer appeared in the Christchurch District Court, Judge Mark Callaghan not requiring them to enter the dock this time.

Much of the discussion in court was suppressed.

Alp and Spierer have been charged with sharing an objectionable publication - a so-called documentary which included the full livestream of the Christchurch mosque attacks, which was banned by the Chief Censor just days after it happened in March 2019.

Alp is also facing a charge of failing to carry out obligations in relation to a computer search, while Spierer has been charged with failing to supply identifying particulars and obstructing police.

Unlike their last appearance, Alp and Spierer did not have supporters outside court. About 20 anti-fascist protesters were gathered outside, holding a sign saying, "When you spin, nobody wins", and singing waiata.

Following their first appearance, Alp gave vague reasons as to why they would not stand in the dock, using arguments related to the Sovereign Citizen movement - that they were only answerable their interpretation of the law and were not subject to government rules or proceedings, unless they consented.

This time, Alp and Spierer were represented by lawyer Kerry Cook.

Outside court the pair had little to say. Alp said the hearing went well, and he did not expect any supporters outside court.

The pair will next appear before the court in February.

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