Law professor questions sense of pursuing case against Waihopai 3

Auckland University law professor Bill Hodge wonders why the Crown is pursuing the civil action against the three peace protestors  who damaged the Waihopai spy base in Marlborough, New Zealand.

“There really isn’t much a creditor can do with respect to a debtor who truly is out of funds. You can’t get blood from a turnip, so not that much can be done. So one wonders, what is the ultimate purpose, ” says Hodge.

The peace protesters who damaged the Waihopai spy base in Marlborough now face $1.2 million damages claim, after the Court of Appeal found against them.

In 2008, Father Murnane, Samuel Land and Adrian Leason entered Waihopai and punctured an inflatable dome covering a large antennae.

In 2010 a jury acquitted the three on criminal charges, but the Crown then took civil action against them.

Murnane, who is a Dominican friar in his early 70s, has not had a bank account for half a century.

In May he said anyone demanding compensation from him would have to grab him by the ankles and shake him to find any money.

The activists say they will decide in the next two weeks whether to seek leave for a further appeal.


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