14 Mar 2012

Two of Te Urewera accused 'peaceful' - lawyers

6:03 pm on 14 March 2012

Defence lawyers for two of the four people taking part in what the Crown says were military-style camps in Te Urewera National Park have told the jury their clients are peaceful activists, not criminals.

The Crown and defence lawyers have all now given their closing addresses in the High Court at Auckland.

Urs Signer - along with Emily Bailey, Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara - denies charges of participation in a criminal group and unlawful possession of firearms.

In his closing address on Wednesday, Mr Signer's leading lawyer, Chris Stevenson, said he was a young peaceful man who protested against war, never showing signs of violence or aggression.

Mr Stevenson said the Crown's case against his client showed only snippets of information, not the whole truth.

He warned members of the jury to convict his client at their peril, saying it could be dangerous to make decisions based on limited information and they must use their common sense when they considered their verdict.

The lawyer for Mr Signer's co-accused, Emily Bailey, says she is also a peaceful activist, who went to camps but had no part in any criminal activity.

Val Nisbet says Ms Bailey is a good, kind woman who would not hurt a fly.