Man wants his trial to be in Maori

A MAN accused of attempting to murder four police officers in the small New Zealand town of Onepu has delivered a fiery challenge to the High Court's jurisdiction and a judge's powers to try him.

Rhys Warren, 27, allegedly wounded the four and attempted to shoot another in a two-day siege in March.

Mr Warren, who appeared by videolink, told Justice Tim Brewer he did not recognise his authority or the court's.

He said he had nominated three "native assessors” to represent him and speak on his behalf.

Justice Brewer said unless they were certified lawyers of the High Court he could not allow them to speak.

Mr Warren said if Justice Brewer refused to allow them to speak he would be in breach of the Treaty of Waitangi.

"I am bound by the law. I'm not allowed to give them permission,” the judge said.

"The Crown is going to be calling evidence from experts, including some experts on guns, and you really need to have some experts of your own to review the Crown's reports, otherwise you won't be able to say anything.”

Mr Warren reserved his right to speak in Maori.

Justice Brewer told Mr Warren the trial was going to happen despite his stance.

Justice Brewer remanded Mr Warren to appear at his trial on March 6.

BAY OF PLENTY TIMES



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