22 May 2015

Lawyer: Red Devils decision protects courts

8:26 am on 22 May 2015

The lawyer of one of a group of Nelson gang members who had drugs and firemans charges against them thrown out says the result shows the police are not above the courts.

generic police vest

Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Charges against 21 members of the Red Devils gang have been quashed due to an illegal undercover investigation by the police.

The accusations had been dismissed in 2012, then reinstated by the Court of Appeal, before the High Court again dismissed them yesterday.

Robert Lithgow QC told Morning Report even the police themselves questioned their tactics.

"One key sign that they weren't as sure of themselves as they thought is that they failed to ask their own lawyers or any government lawyers what they thought of this idea," he said.

"Because the thing they hadn't thought of is whether it's a good idea for police officers to forge things."

Mr Lithgow said judges had a duty to protect the court system.

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  • Judge dismisses charges against Nelson gang