Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Ok, I fully understand the mixed reactions to this statement.   Thank you to the reader of this blog (friend?) who turned up at our place last night bearing a sausage roll .   Every dog has its day ... I digress.

Congratulations to the Police on the apprehension of the 60 YO Auckland male businessman charged over the Fonterra blackmail/terrorism threat.     See that the case (to date) has cost Mr & Mrs Taxpayer in excess of $3m with more to come.   I appreciate the matter is now sub-judice so I will refrain from commenting on the specifics but I am somewhat astounded that the Judge has granted the accused name suppression.    This has become far too common and almost 'de rigueur'  in cases of serious crime.  

It is worthwhile to remind ourselves (and perhaps Judges too) of the law regarding name suppression. Section 200(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act  2011 provides for the court to make an order for name suppression only if it is satisfied that publishing the defendant’s name would be likely to:
  • cause extreme hardship to the defendant or people connected with the defendant (for example, the defendant’s family)
  • cast suspicion on another person that may cause them undue hardship
  • cause undue hardship to a victim
  • create a real risk of prejudicing a fair trial
  • endanger any person’s safety
  • lead to the identification of another person who has name suppression
  • prejudice the maintenance of the law or the security or defence of New Zealand.
Note too the Section 200(3) of the same Act has it that the fact a defendant is well-known does not necessarily mean they will be eligible for name suppression on the basis that they would suffer extreme hardship.

So, there it is.   I would be interested in hearing the Judge's reasoning behind the grant.    I hope the media will be appealing the decision.   They should.


JC said...

People already know who it probably is from the published hints in the media and a lot more besides. There's also a strong likelihood that suspicion will fall on associates because of the suppression order plus other unintended consequences.. not good.


The Veteran said...

Amen to that. What is surprising is that the Police supported the application. So much for our system of 'open justice'. At least the 'gentleman' remains in custody .... sigh