Chris Trotter did a strong column yesterday backing Police Commissioner Howard Broad, calling him a man of integrity. I can’t find an online version to link to – but it should give sceptics some pause for thought.
It goes without saying that I don’t think there is anything beyond coincidence that Parliament was due to be debating a terrorism bill this week. That bill already had overwhelming support, and the events of this week probably make it harder not easier to progress it.
But my concerns is growing that there may have been some over-reaching by Police. I got a call yesterday letting me know that one of those arrested in Auckland was someone I have met socially. Now he is an anarchist (and that’s no crime) but I find it very difficult to believe he was part of some planned violent action.
He’s a fairly young guy, and locked up in prison until November. Now if he has broken the law, he will face consequences in court. But the part that is concerning me more and more is the refusal of bail. Sure that is reasonable to do if they really were part of some violent conspiracy. But if they merely broke firearms laws at a camp a few months ago, why treat them differently to anyone else who is charged with firearm offences?