As I said, it was all rather muddled.
Selwyn pleaded guilty to the charge of vandalism. On top of that, he was charged with sedition for the leaflets left at the site of the broken window, and also for five leaflets which were left in Ponsonby Rd as some sort of press release, and which sought to explain the 'action' for the media and to offer them some soundbites for their news reports later that day. Selwyn was charged with sedition for both sets of literature, being found guilty only of the 'press releases.' The offending line, the jury decided was the invitation for "like-minded New Zealanders to take similar action of their own." My own reports on all this can be found here. As Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn explained during the trial:
The definition [of sedition] is so broad as to criminalise virtually any criticism of the government. And historically, that is exactly how the law of sedition has been used in this country: as a tool of persecution for those whose political opinions were deemed "non-mainstream."Today he was sentenced.
He received two months. Not for vandalism, but for sedition. Herald report here. On top of that:
"The sentences," notes the Herald, "are to be served one after the other." Think what you will about the latter offences, but I don't know anyone else who's been jailed for that length of time for those sort of offences. There seems to be an element of vindictiveness in the sentencing. To paraphrase a line 'borrowed' by a commenter at Selwyn's blog:Selwyn was jailed for a further 15 months ... on dishonesty charges, including obtaining passports, birth certificates, benefits and four Inland Revenue Department numbers under the names of dead people.
Cornered the boy kicked out at the State...Tim Selwyn's friend Bomber Bradbury (yes, that Bomber Bradbury) concluded his own post on his friend's sentencing with this:
the State kicked back
a lot fuckin' harder...
Let me end by saying that everyone makes mistakes, even though some would label Tim a hypocrite for attacking the state from the right wing, yet steal off it at the same time, I must say in his defense that the radical man he has become is very different from the radical young man he was.Tim Selwyn has been jailed for sedition. I just thought that needed repeating. I'll leave you to think about the implications of that for political debate in this country. While thinking about it, you might want to ponder the comments of Idiot/Savant, which he ends with this rather mixed thought:
The worry now is that the police will use this law to crack down on "non-mainstream" political speech, exactly as they have done in the past. The only way to prevent that is by repealing the law. Hopefully we'll see some progress on that front soon.More on that later.
LINKS: 'Sedition' posts at Not PC
A step backwards for freedom of speech - No Right Turn, Scoop
Jail for axe attack on PM's office - NZ Herald
Tim Selwyn - Tumeke!
Selwyn sentenced - No Right Turn (Idiot/Savant)
TAGS: Politics-NZ, Law, Free Speech