9 May 2012

Claim Tame Iti could not have organised a criminal group

6:59 pm on 9 May 2012

A Tuhoe chairperson says it's a joke the Crown could think Tame Iti could have organised a criminal group.

In March, Tame Iti, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, Urs Signer and Emily Bailey were found guilty on a number of firearms charges.

But the jury couldn't reach a verdict on the lead charge, that of being part of an organised criminal group.

The High Court in Auckland on Wednesday confirmed it wouldn't be pursuing the case any further.

The chairperson of Te Komiti o Runga Tribal Authority, which was formerly the Western Tuhoe Tribal executive, encompassing Ruatoki, Patrick McGarvey, says he's pleased there'll be no retrial.

He says the allegation that Mr Iti could organise a criminal group to overthrow the Government is ludicrous.

Mr McGarvey says that in the time Mr Iti was the chairperson of his hapu, he struggled to get a sizeable group together to form a working bee to do clean up at the marae.