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Illness interrupts Urewera trial again

10:55 Mon Feb 20 2012

Illness has again interrupted the trial of the Urewera Four in the High Court in Auckland.

Jurors were told by Justice Rodney Hansen on Monday morning that the court would not be sitting on Monday or Tuesday, because a member of the jury was sick.

The juror had provided a medical certificate, Fairfax reported.

Last Thursday, proceedings were called off after one of the accused, Urs Signer, gave notice through counsel that he was unwell.

Signer, along with Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, Emily Bailey and Tuhoe activist Tame Iti, are facing charges of participation in an organised criminal group and of firearms offences.

The Crown alleges they were organisers of a group which was holding military-type camps near Ruatoki in the Urewera ranges.

It says they wanted to establish Tuhoe as a separate state and they intended to carry out serious violent offences.

Defence lawyers have told jurors to keep an open mind throughout the trial.

The trial is expected to resume on Wednesday.