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Men accused of spy base attack freed on bail

05 May 2008

Three men charged with attacking the Waihopai spy base near Blenheim have been freed on bail.

Dominican friar Peter Murnane, 67, organic gardener Adrian Leason, 42, and farmer Sam Land, 24, face two charges of intentional damage and one of burglary, after allegedly slashing a dome protecting a satellite last Wednesday.

Police told Blenheim District Court they no longer had concerns the accused would interfere with witnesses and had no strong evidence they might attack other military installations.

The judge said there was no just cause to keep the men in custody. He remanded them to a pre-depositions hearing on 9 June.

The accused have strict bail conditions.

The Government Communications Security Bureau, which is responsible for the base, says it is still assessing the damage caused, but the dome will have to be replaced.

Fences surrounding the base have been re-secured.

Craft circle protests

In Christchurch, the Addington Women's Revolutionary Craft Circle held a peaceful protest on Monday in support of the accused.

Group spokesperson Anna-Claire Hunter says they were impressed by the accuseds' actions and wanted to help highlight the US military's presence in New Zealand.

Radio New Zealand

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