18 Nov 2015

Swearing men jailed for contempt of court.

7:51 am on 18 November 2015

Two men have been jailed after interrupting a district court judge, questioning his jurisdiction and swearing.

Police arrested Robin Tamihere and John Monga after a group entered City Works Depot last month in central Auckland, claiming sovereignty.

The two were back in court yesterday morning, when Tamihere, who faces two charges of assault and one of forcible entry, repeatedly interrupted Judge Russell Collins.

He was told to take his place in the dock but refused, telling Judge Collins he did not recognise the jurisdiction of the court.

Tamihere then gesticulated at the judge and was sent to the cells.

At that point, Monga called out from the public gallery and Judge Collins also asked him to leave.

Monga, who also faces a charge of forcible entry, replied by swearing at the judge.

He too was sent to the cells, while the judge contemplated whether the pair were in contempt.

The pair were brought back into court in the afternoon session. Both refused the offer of legal advice from a duty lawyer.

Tamihere entered the dock first and said he was being held under duress and protest.

He also said he didn't recognise his own name and accused the judge of violating due process and his human rights.

He would be referring the case to the United Nations, he said.

Judge Collins said Tamihere had repeatedly interrupted the court, refused to take his place in the dock and disobeyed directions of the court. He sentenced Tamihere to 14 days in prison for contempt of court.

Monga appeared next and claimed he was a Field Marshall of the Cook Islands. He apologised to the judge and said that as a diplomat of the King of Hawai'i he had to be a bigger person but had got caught up in the heat of the moment.

Judge Collins sentenced him to 28 days, citing the case of Te Ringa Mangu Nathan Mihaka, who had called a judge an "arsehole", and been given the same sentence. The judge said anarchy and chaos would reign if every person who appeared in court acted in the same way.

He said had Monga not apologised, he would have been looking at a sentence of between six and eight weeks.