Waihopai accused ‘trying to save lives overseas’

Stuff Three peace protesters who broke into Marlborough’s Waihopai Valley satellite communications station, where a dome was slashed, plan to defend their criminal charges by saying they were trying to save lives overseas.

Otaki organic gardener Adrian Leason, 45, Auckland Dominican friar Peter Murnane, 69, and Hokianga farmer Sam Land, 26, have pleaded not guilty to two counts of intentional damage and one of burglary.

Wellington District Court was packed with supporters of the trio yesterday for the trial that is expected to last into next week.

Outside, about 150 protesters sang John Lennon’s Give Peace A Chance as the three men were ushered through tight security. The men were activists from non-violence action group Ploughshares Aotearoa.

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