Waihopai Spy Base, New Zealands part in the global Echelon network.
The Marlborough Express | Monday, 02 March 2009
Issues raised by lawyers defending three men accused of slashing the inflatable dome covering a Waihopai Spy Base satellite interception dish have been suppressed by a district court judge.
In Blenheim District Court on Friday a callover hearing was held for three Ploughshares peace activists, Auckland-based Dominican friar and Catholic priest Peter Murnane, Hokianga farmer Sam Land and Otaki organic gardener Adrian Leason. All deny charges of unlawful entry and wilful damage at the spy base on April 30 last year.
After listening to lawyers for the accused, Michael Knowles and Moana Cole, Judge David McKegg ordered some matters be addressed in a pre-trial hearing. No date has yet been set. http://www.stuff.co.nz/4865404a6563.html
An interesting note about the Ploughshares organisation
London-based Ploughshares is big on the global disarmament (eg no guns for citizens either) and claims a mandate to disable war planes and other military equipment. Its financial report on the web lists the organisations assets as worth $23 million.
But here's the rub: The organisation has a substantial international staff and well-connected board of advisers including none other than Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council On Foreign Relations and Lawrence J. Korb, a CFR Director of National Security Studies. Now they are interesting advisers for a hippie peacenik group!! http://www.ploughshares.org/board_and_advisors.php
Interestingly, in the same week the base was attacked the Marlborough Express reported that;
Top secret exercise ends
A week-long secret police exercise in the Marlborough Sounds involving Royal New Zealand Air Force helicopters and convoys of large black vehicles ends today.
Police national headquarters are not revealing operational details. Picton, Blenheim and Nelson police say they know nothing of the exercise.
Communications centres in Wellington and Christchurch also said they were unaware of the exercise.
RNZAF Base Woodbourne's warrant officer John Bray said two of the air force's Iroquois helicopters were working to support a police operation in the Marlborough Sounds, but could give no further details.