Big Island Mauna a Wākea News 2-2-16… “Six more TMT protesters acquitted”

mauna_kea_herb_kane_poliahu_42This was quite positive news for those who stood up for Mauna a Wākea the past year. In my view, no one should be “arrested” for standing up for their homeland, and the places they consider sacred.

There are efforts by the “fake state” to “change the rules” so future Science projects (which could include new efforts by TMT) would not have to go through a contested case hearing (the part of the process (or lack of which) which tripped up the TMT). I’ll likely post that article later.

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Six more TMT protesters acquitted

A district court judge acquitted an additional six Thirty Meter Telescope opponents of obstruction charges after defendants argued their actions prevented a greater harm from occurring.

According to court minutes, the defendants told Judge Barbara Takase that standing in the way of construction vehicles heading to the TMT construction site below Mauna Kea’s summit last year was the only way to prevent “desecration” of a mountain they consider sacred.

The judge, after finding protest leader Kahookahi Kanuha not guilty a month ago, agreed with their arguments during bench trials Jan. 22 in Waimea and found that prosecutors could not disprove the “choice of evil defenses.”

The not guilty verdicts follow a state Supreme Court decision in early December that overturned the $1.4 billion project’s land use permit. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources, the court said, should have had a contested case hearing before approving the permit.

The permit issue has been reverted back to 3rd Circuit Court, which will be responsible for sending the matter back to the Land Board for consideration.


On Friday, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources issued a legal notice announcing it was looking to hire a new hearings officer if another contested case hearing is held.

TMT officials have not commented about whether they will pursue the permit again.

The high court’s decision appears to have shifted the district court’s view of the charges against the demonstrators, who were arrested during two of the three roadblocks on the mountain. More than four dozen people were arrested for blocking vehicles or other violations on the mountain during the protests, though some already had their cases dismissed.

According to court records, three protesters were found guilty of the same charges prior to the high court’s ruling. Sentences included community service or fines.

One man was sentenced to five days in jail at his request, though that sentence was stayed.

Hearings for other defendants are scheduled for March 3 or later.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

About Kauilapele

I am a Spirit of Light working with energies on this planet on the Big Island of Hawai'i (for 15 years). My spiritual missions have taken me from the Big Island of Hawai'i to neighbor islands (Oahu, Kauai), as well as to Turtle Island (N. America), Peru (Cusco), Bolivia (Lake Titicaca), and Egypt (Gizeh, Saqqara, the Pyramids) (see my YouTube page).
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