17 Oct 2008

Arms trial ruling expected

7:26 am on 17 October 2008

A judge is expected to rule in the Auckland District Court on Friday on whether 18 of the 20 arrested in nationwide police raids last year, will go on trial.

They are charged with illegally possessing firearms, ammunition and explosives.

Earlier, the Solicitor General refused to allow the police to lay charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act, citing insufficient evidence.

Depositions began in early September and have been fraught with delays due to the number of defendants and the fact that many wanted the evidence against them translated into Maori.

Suppression orders were in place over the hearing because of concerns that publication of details would prejudice a trial.

Judge Mark Perkins adjourned the hearing for three weeks to consider whether the case should go that far.

His decision will be issued at the Auckland District Court on Friday morning.