Billy te Kahika and Vinny Eastwood win their appeal

Billy te Kahika and Vinny Eastwood win their appeal


Billy TK Jr says court case over lockdown protest has cost him over $10k

Conspiracy theorist Billy Te Kahika Jr says his court case over a Covid lockdown protest he organised has cost him more than $10,000.

The saga has been a “nightmare” and “disgusting”, he says.

Te Kahika and Vincent (Vinny) Eastwood were both jailed in March for breaching Covid-19 legislation by organising and attending a protest in 2021.

However, their lawyers immediately asked for the men to be granted bail, pending an appeal against their sentences being heard in the High Court.

Bail conditions were set by Judge Peter Winter, preventing the defendants from publicising the reasons they think their appeal may succeed on any social media platform.

The pair appeared in front of Justice Timothy Brewer at the High Court at Auckland on Tuesday morning appealing that bail condition.

The hearing lasted no longer than 10 minutes.

Justice Brewer quashed the bail restriction, saying being unable to talk about their case on social media was contrary to their rights of freedom of expression.

Vincent Eastwood was also present at the TVNZ protest. (File photo)
Vincent Eastwood was also present at the TVNZ protest. (File photo)

“I accept [the conditions] are non-compliant with section 14 of the Bill of Rights Act,” he said.

Justice Brewer also said he saw no link between Section 8 of the Bail Act relating to continued detention and the restrictions on access to the Internet.

Belle Archibald, the Crown prosecutor, also accepted there was no basis for the condition.

The pair’s appeals against their sentences are set to be heard later in April.

In a Telegram livestream to 50 people on Tuesday afternoon, Te Kahika said he didn’t want to go into details about the legal case, but said “it should succeed”.

Te Kahika said the court process had been “disgusting” and a “nightmare” and he had spent over $10,000 on it.

”They’re trying to ruin us spiritually, emotionally, financially,” he said.

He denied he had broken any laws and said if he had, he would be the first to own up about it.

Stuff gave Te Kahika multiple chances to comment on the legal case, but Te Kahika refused, only saying he would accept a wide-ranging interview that would discuss his thoughts on the pandemic in general.

Judge Winter sentenced Te Kahika to four months’ imprisonment for the protest, while Eastwood was sentenced to three.

At a rally in Auckland on February 19, Billy Te Kahika rejected allegations that he improperly spent an investor’s money on a luxury car.

The protest took place outside the TVNZ building in central Auckland on the first day of the level 4 Covid lockdown on August 18, 2021.

Judge Winter was satisfied Te Kahika was the orchestrator and organiser of the protest whereas Eastwood was there in a supporting role and tried to calm the crowd at one point.

At the Auckland District Court sentencing, Te Kahika’s lawyer Paul Borich argued Te Kahika was protesting the single most authoritarian interference of the rights of New Zealanders.

Nathan Batts, Eastwood’s lawyer, said the experience of Eastwood’s arrest and the criminal justice system had the fullest deterrent effect on his client.

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