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Updated at 8:47 pm on 8 August 2011
Lawyers for three men who damaged the Waihopai spy base say their clients should not have to pay for the damage, given their acquittal in the criminal justice system.
The Crown is seeking $1,229,289 from Domincian friar Father Peter Murnane, Adrian Leason and Sam Land.
In 2008, the men deflated a 30-metre-high dome protecting a satellite dish at the base in Blenheim.
They were acquitted in March last year on charges of intentional damage after claiming they were acting in the greater good to stop lives being lost in overseas wars and that the Waihopai base contributes to torture and war.
Crown lawyer Austin Powell told the Wellington High Court on Monday the men cannot claim they were justified in international law because that cannot be raised in a domestic setting.
Mr Powell said the trio could have taken court action over their claim that the Waihopai facility was unlawful, but instead chose to resort to direct action in attacking the spy base.
Defence lawyers say a full civil trial should be held so that all matters raised by the defendants in relation to the spy base's operations can be canvassed.
One lawyer, Michael Knowles, characterised the case as a face-saving attempt by the Crown and questioned why the Government Communications Security Bureau had chosen not to participate in the case.
The court reserved its decision on Monday.
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