Eight people have appeared in Rotorua courts charged with improperly interfering with the remains of a Rotorua man who died in a fishing accident.
Six men appeared in the Rotorua District Court and two male youths appeared in the Rotorua Youth Court today facing a joint charge of interfering with the remains of Jason Lines.
The charge relates to an incident on Saturday in Rotorua.
Lines, 24, from Rotorua, died after the dinghy he was in flipped while travelling over the Bowentown Bar, south of Waihi Beach on November 20. Two others survived but Lines' body washed ashore seven days later.
Maurice Ututaonga, 21, Tiger Ross, 17, Sebastien Wineera, 22, Rhys James Phillips, forest worker, 25, Ryan Rawiri Lingman, fencer, 25 and Shannon Shiloh Apirana, 28, all from Rotorua, appeared in the Rotorua District Court via audio visual link before Judge Tony Snell facing a joint charge of interfering with the remains of Jason Lines.
Two youths, aged 15 and 16, appeared in the Rotorua Youth Court jointly charged with the six men.
The youths, who can't be named for legal reasons, were granted bail and will reappear on December 19.
Ross and Phillips, who did not enter pleas to the charges, were granted bail by Judge Snell under strict conditions.
They included that they remain at their homes between 7pm and 7am, don't associate with the co-accused, don't wear gang regalia, don't associate with gang members or anyone wearing gang regalia and don't consume drugs or alcohol.
The other four men also didn't enter pleas and were remanded in custody to reappear tomorrow in the Rotorua District Court.
Defence lawyers Tim Braithwaite and Herman Roose, who appeared for some of the men as assigned duty solicitors, expressed frustration to Judge Snell they had not been assigned the cases by Legal Aid Services earlier in the day.
Braithwaite said he didn't have an opportunity to discuss the charge with his clients.
"I express my extreme frustration to the court ... (they) are being held in custody because LAS has not done its job."
Judge Snell told the accused given the counsel had just been assigned, he wasn't in a position to hear bail applications for all men.
Police confirmed on Friday the body that was found on November 27 was that of Lines, who went missing on November 20.
He was buried at a Rotorua urupa (cemetery) last week.
An extensive shoreline and water search was carried out in the days following the accident. The search included members of Lines' family as well as friends, including members of the Mongrel Mob.