5 Sep 2016

Army mishandled 'N-Bomb' evidence - lawyer

10:50 pm on 5 September 2016

The lawyer for two soldiers found guilty at a court martial after they were seen acting strangely in Palmerston North on Labour Weekend last year says their rights were breached in several ways.

18072016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Wellington High Court.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Lance Corporal Joshua Mapson and Private Barclay Bishop were part of a group of eight soldiers who took a drug commonly known as N-Bomb and ended up in police custody.

After being found guilty of breaching service discipline, Mapson's rank was reduced and both men were fined several hundred dollars.

At an appeal in the High Court in Wellington today their lawyer, Michael Bott, questioned the legality of the army taking samples from them to test for drug use.

He also pointed to what he said were deficiencies in the handling of the samples.

However, the Defence Force's lawyer, Major Matt Harding, said the quality of the testing was not in dispute.

He said the tests were carried out by a qualified person and the only error was by a staff sergeant filling out the forms attached to them, rather than the tester.

The Court was expected to reserve its decision.