Tuesday, August 04, 2015

My Final Summary to the New Zealand Press About the Urewera 4 Case

A video interview I gave with to the New Zealand press offering my final summary and view on the Urewera 4 Case. It was filmed outside Auckland High Court by Mashpedia who posted the video on Youtube. 

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My Stance & Legal Opinion on Human Trafficking in New Zealand covered by The Dominion Post NZ

An article about human trafficking In which I was interviewed by Stacey Wood of The Dominion Post NZ for: Victims of trafficking 'need to seek help'. Read the articles below;


A high-profile Auckland lawyer says human trafficking is happening in New Zealand, but the Labour Department says it can do little unless victims come forward.

Jeremy Bioletti, who represented two clients he says were brought to New Zealand from Ukraine to work as prostitutes, said police should have protected them instead of prosecuting them.

His first client endured three jury trials with no convictions after she was found to be in possession of a false passport.
She had been accompanied to New Zealand by a "minder" and had been put to work as a prostitute before she was arrested.

"She came to me after depositions in her first trial because she'd been advised to plead guilty. We felt that as a victim of trafficking she shouldn't have been prosecuted, so that's how we defended her."
After a district court judge discharged her, Crown prosecutors applied for a judicial review and the case was brought back to court.

Two hung juries later, the woman was again discharged. Mr Bioletti said she had now escaped her "owner" and was trying to rebuild her life in Auckland.

"Since her case was finished ... there's been two other cases prosecuted by the Immigration Department. The woman I'm now acting for was trafficked into New Zealand by the same organisation, based in Kiev."
Mr Bioletti said police and immigration officials were missing the signs of human trafficking because they were too focused on security. "I think ... that because of September 11, border security and passport concerns eclipsed those of trafficking and of people being exploited."

If his client is deported to the Ukraine, Mr Bioletti fears she will fall back into the hands of the men who sent her here to begin with.

"We've signed up to an international protocol to protect these women and children from trafficking, so we are obliged to do more and as a fortunate country we should be doing more."
Labour Department immigration manager Steve Watson said it was difficult to help the victims of human trafficking unless they came forward.

"We need evidence, and we'll follow up on some of the things Jeremy's raised but he's speaking on behalf of someone else who might not come forward. We haven't found any substantiated evidence of trafficking."

Copyright © 2009 Fairfax New Zealand Limited
Article



Publish Date: 07 Sep 2009
Source: Radio New Zealand 

Brothel workers victims of human trafficking - lawyer

Two Ukrainian women forced to work in Auckland brothels are victims of human trafficking, a criminal lawyer says.
Jeremy Bioletti says he has defended one woman who was brought to New Zealand to work as a prostitute by a gang in Ukraine.
Mr Bioletti says "you'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind" not to see that it was human trafficking.
Mr Bioletti says the brothel owner took the woman's passport and the 23-year-old was forced to work to pay off a $10,000 debt. Officials treated her case as passport fraud, but Mr Bioletti says "you'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind" not to see that it was human trafficking.

Last week, Department of Labour immigration manager Steve Watson said there are no confirmed or suspected cases of human trafficking in New Zealand.

Mr Bioletti says he is defending another woman brought into the country by the Ukraine gang.
An organisation that works with sex workers says human trafficking is a reality in New Zealand.
The confidential support service, Street Reach New Zealand, says although human trafficking is hard to uncover, New Zealanders would be naive to think it is not happening here.

Spokesperson Debbie Baker says sex trafficking has become even harder to unearth since prostitution was decriminalised in 2003.The Depatment of Labour says people with evidence of human trafficking need to contact police.

Talking to Susan Wood on Mike Hosking Breakfast show about Serco and G4S

I had a chat to Susan Wood a while back on Newstalk ZB to offer my legal opinion on the Serco and G4S investigations and the UK scandal of alleged overcharging. They wanted to know my view on whether the same thing is happening in NZ prisons? and what we can do about it! Hear the podcast via the link ; http://castroller.com/podcasts/InternationalNewstalk/3649878

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No Time for Coffee - 20 minute District Court Acquittal

Article courtesy of James Ellingham of APNZ published by Otago Times 

It took a jury just 20 minutes to acquit an Auckland tow-truck driver accused of taking an impounded car on an unauthorised high-speed spin.

Michael Donald Woods admitted driving the car after towing it back to his yard for the police in 2012.
Mr Woods, who told APNZ he now goes by the name Michael Holliday, said he took the Nissan Silvia on the road to make sure he hadn't damaged its suspension when he hoisted it on his trailer.
He defended a charge of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle on the basis that he had not known he did not have permission to drive the car.
After his two-day trial finished in the Auckland District Court yesterday, Mr Woods said the acquittal felt "hollow".
In August 2012, the NZ Transport Agency suspended his licence to operate as a tow-truck driver because it ruled he he wasn't a "fit and proper" person, he said.
Mr Woods said the prosecution had been a "set up" and he felt let down by what happened to him.
When asked who had set him up, the 51-year-old said: "It's not hard to put it together".
Now the trial was over, Mr Woods said he wanted to focus on patching up his relationship with his family, which had been affected by the charge.
The speed of the jury's verdict surprised him and it was still "sinking in" last night.
"I'd just sat down to read my petrol-head magazine and was about to have a coffee and they came back."
Early on April 15, 2012, Mr Woods was called by police to pick up the impounded Silvia from Mt Wellington.
The Crown initially said he took the car on a "joyride" along streets surrounding his Pakuranga firm, East City Towing, but prosecutor Leo Farmer did not use that term in his closing argument yesterday.
Mr Farmer said Mr Woods was caught out by a GPS tracking device in the impounded car, called a Snitch.
Its data showed the car hit speeds of 113 kmh and 105 kmh at times on a short trip.
When police spoke to him, Mr Woods initially said he followed a carload full of boyracers hanging around his yard, with the Silvia still on the back of his truck. He then changed his story and said he drove the Silvia to make sure it wasn't damaged.
"If you thought you'd damaged the car, why would you drive it up and down the road at speed? Why wouldn't you just look at it?" Mr Farmer said.
Defence lawyer Jeremy Bioletti told the jury Mr Woods did not handle the police interview well, but said people lied for various reasons.
"I just ask you to see if from the point of view of the person themselves," Mr Bioletti said. "That person may see part of his business crumbling before their eyes, or other consequences."
Mr Bioletti said while the Silvia's owner, Erin Ashe, subsequently said Mr Woods did not have permission to drive the car outside the tow yard, he didn't know that at the time.
By James Ellingham of APNZ

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