Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre Woodham: Govt's sour grapes

Waihopai base. Photo / Tim Cuff
Waihopai base. Photo / Tim Cuff

When the jury returned a not-guilty verdict in the trial of the Waihopai trio, I wonder if they were as surprised as the rest of the country.

Maybe not. Maybe, with the certainty of all zealots, they were sure God would guide the jurors and see to it they would walk free for their attack on the spy base.

They admitted entering the Waihopai communications base illegally and damaging one of the expensive domes that cover the satellite interception dishes. Their defence claim of right, that they had genuinely believed their actions were lawful because they were acting in the interests of the greater good, was an unusual one but, by crikey, it worked - even though there was not a shred of proof that their actions would save the life of a single man, woman or child.

The Government was furious and changed the law so no one else could pull the wool over a jury's eyes. And that, we thought, was that.

But now the Crown has been given leave to sue the three men for more than $1 million, the amount it cost for repairs.

While I don't agree with what the men did, this seems futile and mean-spirited. Yes, the men are annoying. Idealistic zealots are. And yes, it must have been embarrassing for the prosecutors to lose what looked to be an open-and-shut case.

But lose they did - fair and square. Hounding the men further seems like sour grapes.

- Herald on Sunday

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