Lawyers defending four Northlanders facing serious drugs charges have urged the jury to listen carefully to all the evidence and to avoid jumping to conclusions.
Evanda Harding, Tyson Harding, Casey Rewha and Kiata Sonny Pene are on trial in the High Court at Whangarei for their alleged involvement in manufacturing the largest quantity of meth in the country to date. At least 9kg of meth, with a street value of $3.2 million to $4.5 million, was cooked in Taipuha Rd, Waiotira, between Whangarei and Paparoa, between September and December 2014, under the overall supervision of Brownie Harding, who will be sentenced next month.
In her opening statement yesterday, Evanda Harding's lawyer Maria Pecotic said evidence around matters to which her client had pleaded guilty were not in dispute. Evanda Harding pleaded guilty at the start of his trial on Monday to two charges of possession of pseudoephedrine for supply and one of possession of meth for supply.
He denied three charges of manufacturing meth, two of possession of pseudoephedrine for supply and/or offering to supply, one of possession of meth for supply, and one of participating in an organised criminal group.
Baden Meyer, who's representing Tyson Harding, said his client knew nothing about the meth. Tyson Harding has pleaded not guilty to one charge of possession of meth for supply.
Nick Leader emphasised his client Casey Rewha was presumed innocent until the charges against her have been proven. Rewha has denied charges of conspiracy to supply meth and participating in an organised criminal group.
Lucy Postlewaight said the jury would have to decide if there was sufficient evidence to establish Pene's guilt.