Compensation sought after raid
Sun, 28 Oct 2012 6:05p.m.
By Jessica Rowe
Police say they will foot the bill for a Nelson lawyer who was used as a pawn in the fake prosecution of an undercover cop who infiltrated the Red Devils gang.
But the lawyer says that isn't good enough. He wants an apology and assurance they won't abuse the court in undercover operations ever again.
The raid at the Red Devils headquarters in Nelson last year led to 22 arrests, one of them an undercover cop.
Barrister Tony Bamford was duped into representing the officer and says when the operation was terminated his client simply disappeared.
“I was left with a file involving a charge, which was an absolute sham,” says Mr Bamford. “I had done quite a bit of a work, all for nothing, and I haven't been paid.”
A High Court judge found the undercover operation into the notorious motorcycle gang abused court processes.
He dropped all the charges, saying police had carried out a fake arrest on their undercover officer and used a false search warrant.
“This is so-called search warrant document, it's just a forgery,” says Mr Bambord.
He says he has been treated as a pawn and he wants an apology.
“The purpose of that sham was to achieve greater mana of this undercover officer in the group. That is such a fundamentally wrong legal process that I believe the police need to make a decision and have a protocol where that type of thing never happens again.”
In a statement, assistant police commissioner Malcolm Burgess says police have not yet received an invoice from Mr Bamford, but he will be paid. And he says police are reviewing processes around undercover investigations in light of the issues raised by this case.
The Nelson community is worried the court case was thrown out.
‘It's a concern,” says Mayor Aldo Miccio. “We just want to ensure the police hopefully take it to an appeal situation. Their intentions are good and we just want this resolved.”
The Solicitor General has a week left to lodge an appeal against the decision to drop charges against the 21 gang members.
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1/11/2012 11:43:57 p.m.
These STUPID idiots who have made this public have put those Officers lives and the lives of their families in massive danger. The undercover Officer needed to have some "credibility" to get more involved in the gang? Damn right! This situation is small fry and the lawyer and judge have just cost the community hundreds of thousands of wasted dollars and massive wasteage of all the Police time that has been invested in getting the big fish. People need to look at the bigger picture here. This is NOT a matter for the public to be knowing aout it. It should have been on a "need to know" basis only. This lawyer needs to stop whining and shut the hell up. The judge should hang p his robe and wig and retire, he has put the lives of the Police and their families in danger. IDIOTS!!! HOW on earth do some of these people become Judges??? Common sense should be a mandatory requirement...badly lacking in these people.... I 100% support our Police.
1/11/2012 10:30:42 p.m.
we deserve a fair system and criminals brought to justice, but i am sorry i dont agree that the police can just do whatever they want to whom ever they want, and mislead the courts and illegal search & seizures, no trust in the nz police currently.
29/10/2012 10:03:14 a.m.
the police work hard to protect us from low life. They made a mistake. As far as the lawyer goes, did he get paid, probably. Then shut up. More should be done to protect undercover cops. Did having the fake prosecution chnage what the gang did...NO.. then the prosection should stand.
28/10/2012 11:27:59 p.m.
Daniel Lang wrote:
The lawyer should have been let in on what was going on from the beginning. he wasn't, so he deserves compensation.
28/10/2012 10:59:06 p.m.
I can't believe people like that Mayor:
“We just want to ensure the police hopefully take it to an appeal situation. Their intentions are good and we just want this resolved.”
It's a legal process - not about good intentions and the Police have to do it by the book. The Judge's decision is based on law - appealing it is a waste of time because it's not about what anyone thinks it's about what the law says. Personally I'm thankful for the law being this way too. I want criminals caught just as much as the next guy but over the last few months I'm more anxious about our police force, spy agencies and government agencies nationally. They all need to be reigned in by the law.
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