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Steve 'Snoopman' Edwards
Steve 'Snoopman' Edwardshttps://snoopman.net.nz/
Former editor at Māori Television, who forged his ‘Thunk Evil Without Being Evil’ super-power while writing a ground-breaking thesis on the Global Financial Crisis. Now a dissident journalist, he publishes on Snoopman News.

SkyGate: Judge Forrest lost in woods clutching at straws after dismissing trespass charges against Gunn & Clark

SkyGate

A strange trial of a seasoned independent media duo commenced May 7 2024 at the Manukau District Court in South Auckland, New Zealand, following their spectacular arrests 15 months prior.

The court heard the pair were arrested in 18 seconds flat by Police, who were sent to eject them from the arrivals lounge inside the International Airport, in the early evening of Saturday February 25 2023.

The accused — a former TVNZ news anchor, Liz Gunn, and her camerman, Jonathan Clark, who once worked for CNN and the Wall Street Journal — were waiting to film the arrival of a Tokelauan family, who had come to live in New Zealand following a cruel house arrest for refusing to be ‘vaccinated’.

The New Zealand Crown’s case against Gunn and Clark balanced on the legality of trespass over their filming without permission from the Airport Company.

However, the defence proved that their enterprise, FreeNZ Media, was not a commercial for profit trading entity, and therefore Auckland International Airport Limited had no legal authority to evict the pair. Yet, they faced charges for trespass, and resisting arrest. Gunn also faced a charge for assault in the ‘judge-alone’ trial.

The prosection’s case was in tatters once the defence had dismantled the two charges for trespass. Yet, the judge allowed the resisting arrest charges to remain.

Moreover, the charge for assault against Liz Gunn also remained at the end of the first day, despite the accuser admitting the touch was both brief and not a grip. And, it seemingly was apparent to everyone, but the defence, the police and the judge that the touch was not meant as an assault, but to get the security guard’s attention.

And, by the Airport security coordinator’s own reluctant admission, she had not established she had a legal right to have the film crew ejected. The big professional camera mislead her, it seems. Her apology followed the initiative of the accused cameraman supplying sound synced with the Airport’s SkyGate surveillance footage. Yet, no one seemed to hear her apologize at the end of her testimony.

Furthermore, nor did the Police, whose game-plan for the court hearing fell apart.

They were shown by the footage, and the accompanying audio track, to have slammed both the cameraman and the reporter to the Arrivals Lounge floor, in 10 and 18 seconds, respectively. The brutality, swiftness and and arrogance displayed in the footage was palpable. The Policemen’s lack of remorse in court was witnessed by the gallery. And it became apparent a jury would have found the scene disturbing.

The Court heard the Senior Constable, Erich Postlewaight — who grievously assaulted reporter, Liz Gunn, who was 63 at the time — brag “you can get a lot done in 18 seconds”, while under cross examination. The brag drew scorn from the gallery.

And the Court was told by the former TVNZ Late Edition One News anchor “I can’t do my own bra up,” due to her injuries. Gunn also emphasized that “size doesn’t matter”, in regard to the big camera that Clarke had been wielding, before she burst out laughing at the lurid connotation of what she said. In spite of the defence lawyer, Matthew Hague, making several attempts to have all of the charges dismissed, the judge metaphorically clutched at legals straws.

Meanwhile, the case itself hung on by a thin thread that may have been stretched beyond its theoretical limits — if only the ‘elephant’ occupying the otherwise empty jury seating had been named in the court record. For the ‘elephant in the court-room’ was free speech rights; Gunn’s little media outfit had been under the gun.

And while a jury was not called for this ‘minor case’, the conspicuous absence of Gunn’s former employer, Television New Zealand, also mirrored that of it’s broadcasting rival, the soon-to-be defunct Newshub. The no-show revealed theatre.

Former Māori Television news and current affairs editor, Steve Snoopman, finds that the reason for dragging out this Kafka-esque clown show theatre, is an attempt to ‘save face’ for the Police, the Crown Law Office, and Auckland International Airport.

The final day of the case is set for Friday 10 May, at the Manukau District Court.

See the fully SkyGate story on The Snoopman Files.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I love how the msm report it as Gunn meeting a family travelling from Samoa. Can’t tell the real story of the family.

    Cowards

  2. Put the cop with some one his own age and size and see how far he could run in 18 sec. Goodness I hate these tough guys hiding behind there uniforms. It is just good knowing their day will arrive, then ha ha ha tough guy

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