Judge dismisses charges against TMT protesters arrested in 2019

Hilo District Judge Kanani Laubach on Friday dismissed obstruction prices towards the remaining defendants who had been amongst 38 arrested or cited on July 17, 2019, throughout peaceable protests of the Thirty Millimeter Telescope on Maunakea Access Road.

Those arrested had been: Walter Ritte, Loretta Ritte, Abel Lui, Liko-o-Kalani Martin, Deborah Lee, Maxine Kahaulelio, Kelii Ioane, Raynette Robinson, Marie Alohalani Brown, Kaliko Lehua Kanaele, James Naniole, James Albertini, Richard L. Deleon, Renee Price, Pualani Kanakaole Kanahele, Daniel Li, Patricia Green, William Ok. Freitas, Tomas Belsky, Ana Kahoopii, Daycia-Dee Chun, Flora Hookano, Desmon Haumea, Linda Leilani Lindsey-Kaapuni, Edleen Peleiholani, Gene Burke, Luana Neff, Carmen Hulu Lindsey, Deena Oana-Hurwitz, Noenoe Wong-Wilson, Damian Trask, Mililani Trask, Mahea Kalima, Donna Leong, Haloley Reese, Sharol Awai, John Turalde and Alika Desha.

Ages and hometowns of these arrested weren’t offered by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, however the majority are thought-about to be kupuna, or elders.

They had been amongst hundreds protesting the deliberate development of the $2.4 billion next-generation telescope on Hawaii’s highest peak, a website some Hawaiians contemplate to be sacred.

The findings of reality and conclusions of regulation signed and filed by Laubach state the amended complaints within the case are faulty as they comprise solely the signature of the prosecutor and never a signed, sworn affidavit of the complainant, which might be the officer who initially cited and/or arrested the protesters. Those necessities had been upheld by the Hawaii Supreme Court within the 2021 case of Thompson v. Hawaii.

The decide scheduled a listening to for April 29 to determine whether or not the dismissals can be with out prejudice, which might enable prosecutors to refile prices, or with prejudice, which might not enable refiling of the fees.

Opponents of the proposed observatory, who consult with themselves as “kia‘i,” or protectors of the mountain, efficiently blockaded the highway and maintained a presence at its intersection with Daniel Ok. Inouye Highway till the novel coronavirus pandemic hit Hawaii.

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