“..Police are defending the move because of the dangerous nature of undercover work, but a leading barrister says it is an “an abuse of process hitherto unknown” in the legal system.
Documents show the fake prosecution was signed off in 2010 by Chief District Court Judge Russell Johnson, who has since died.
A police letter to Johnson, obtained by the Sunday Star-Times, says undercover officer Michael Wiremu Wilson, who infiltrated the Red Devils gang, was arrested in an “orchestrated scenario” on May 29 that year -
- a move necessary to protect his assumed identity and “ensure his continued safety, divert suspicion – and enhance the appearance of criminality”.
The letter asks permission for the prosecution, but says because the agent is a policeman, he would have a “complete defence” under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
But that act specifies no prosecution can start against an undercover officer, “except with the leave of the attorney-general”.
Wilson had infiltrated the Nelson chapter of the Red Devils motorcycle gang, which has links to the Hell’s Angels.
He was charged with possession of equipment for cultivation of cannabis after a raid on a storage unit he was renting in Motueka…”
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