Wednesday, 05 Dec 2007

US website hosting Urewera 'terror' evidence shut down

| Thursday, 29 November 2007
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A United States-hosted website which published secret evidence about alleged military-style weapons training camps in the Ureweras has been closed down.

The site was created by Michael Ross, of Springfield, Missouri, this month, claiming to be the official website of the "New Zealand Civil Liberties Union".

But, one of the world's biggest providers of internet domain names, today confirmed it had shut the site.

"We received a complaint about the content of, reviewed it and decided it was in breach of our terms of service," communications manager Nick Fuller said by email.

"Due to our privacy policy, we cannot release specific information about why it was taken down."

The Crown Law Office, which has expressed concerns about news media quoting evidence contained in the police affidavit that was posted on, had nothing to do with the site's closure, a spokeswoman said.

NZPA was unable to contact Mr Ross about the site which, before it was closed, said it was "protecting God's Own from erosion of essential civil liberties and human rights abuses that threaten all of us".

It said recent events – including the Electoral Finance Bill and "massive round-up of 17 New Zealand citizens without bail or trial for four weeks" – prompted the site being launched.

The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties says it has no connection to the New Zealand Civil Liberties Union.

The 156-page police affidavit was filed in Manukau District Court to obtain search warrants for police to stage raids in eastern Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Christchurch on October 15.

The version of the affidavit that was posted on the website was taken from a photocopy, which had hand-written legal notes in the margins and marked references to Jamie Lockett – one of those arrested – throughout the document.

Lockett is one of the 16 defendants facing firearms charges as a result of the raids on October 15.

The 17th person arrested solely faces drug charges. Solicitor-General David Collins decided against any prosecutions under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Lockett's counsel Jeremy Bioletti, who filed a complaint to the Solicitor-General against various Fairfax Media publications for publishing contents of the affidavit, has not responded to NZPA calls since its website posting was pointed out to him this week.


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