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No evidence of criminal plans: lawyer

17:07 Wed Mar 14 2012

The lawyer for one of the "Urewera four" says the trial is the first he's been involved with where nothing happened.

Emily Bailey's lawyer Val Nisbet gave the final of the four closing addresses on Wednesday at the trial in the High Court in Auckland.

Bailey, her partner Urs Signer, Tame Iti and Te Rangikawhiria Kemara all deny charges of participation in an organised criminal group and firearms offences.

The Crown says the quartet were organisers of military-style camps in the Ureweras training to commit violent offences if Tuhoe's Treaty of Waitangi negotiations were unsuccessful, but Mr Nisbet said there was no evidence of planning for violence.

"I've been doing this for a fair while and I don't think I've ever done a trial where nothing happened. This is a first," Mr Nisbet told the jury.

"There's no evidence of who the Crown says they were going to murder, what buildings they were going to target, whose flesh they were going to burn, no shared motive or reason."

Mr Nisbet said Bailey was at some of the camps but there was no evidence on computer and text logs that she was a leader or organiser of them.

Bailey was an activist who was engaged with Peace Action Wellington, supported animal welfare, was worried about the environment and climate change, and was a yoga instructor.

"Without people like Emily there would be no social change, no political change, no environmental change, no change of any positive sort.

"She puts her mouth where her heart is."

Mr Nisbet said saying the accused were planning for violence was as fanciful as saying Iti wanted to be arrested over the camps to keep Tuhoe grievances in the public eye.

Signer's lawyer Christopher Stevenson said earlier on Thursday that his client was a peace campaigner and the suggestion he was into murder and mayhem didn't make sense.

He said Signer was in Ruatoki to immerse himself in Maori culture and the camps were incidental to why he was there.

"If the people of Urewera are described as the people of the mist, then this case is very much one where the fog has descended and you have to work your way through it."

The jury will retire to consider their verdicts on Thursday after Justice Rodney Hansen sums up the case.