15 May 2009

Nationwide raid accused appear in court

11:52 am on 15 May 2009

The people charged in relation to nationwide police raids in 2007 have been arraigned at the High Court in Auckland.

The 17 accused have previously pleaded not guilty at the District Court.

But the decision was made in March to transfer the matter to the High Court at the Crown's request.

Arguments for and against doing so were suppressed.

Some of the defendents chose to enter not guilty pleas through their lawyers while others asked to have each charge read out to them in English and Maori - a lengthy process as some face more than 30 charges.

The accused have had their bail conditions relaxed and will now only be required to report to police every two months.

The Crown has indicated a trial date will not be set this year.