15 Mar 2012

Jury of the Te Urewera accused retires for night

9:21 pm on 15 March 2012

The jury in the trial of four people accused of taking part in military-style camps in Te Urewera National Park has retired for the night.

Dozens of supporters of the four were at the High Court in Auckland waiting for a verdict.

Tame Iti, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, Urs Singner and Emily Bailey face a number of charges including participating in an organised criminal group and unlawful possession of firearms.

The jury started its deliberations at midday Thursday.

The four denied the charges when the trial began in the Auckland High Court in February.

Justice Rodney Hansen told the jury to put aside any preconceptions they have about the accused and warned them not to be swayed by emotional responses.

Last year, prior to the trial, the Crown dropped charges against 13 people who were originally accused alongside the four defendants.

Justice Hansen told the jurors not to speculate about this, saying it should be irrelevant in their deliberation.

He went through each of the 13 charges faced by the accused, explaining to the jury what must be proved in order to come to a guilty verdict.