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Posted by karere under Maori News
Tame Iti says he will continue to regard himself as a political prisoner.
The Tuhoe activist was jailed on firearms offences related to police raids in Te Urewera National Park in the Eastern Bay of Plenty in 2007 and released from Waikeria Prison on Wednesday morning.
He has served a third of his two-and-a-half-year sentence. Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, Urs Signer and Emily Bailey were also convicted regarding the raids.
Iti held a media conference on the Hukanui Marae near Hamilton following his release and told reporters he was a political prisoner of the state while in jail and would remain one at large until his sentence is completed in October 2014.
He held no resentment about being in jail nine months, saying he enjoyed his time there and was able to work and be creative with his art.
Iti said he was inspired by reading a book about former South African leader Nelson Mandela and wants to write one on the history of political prisoners in New Zealand.
He also said that once he returns home to Ruatoki, he would continue to hunt and use firearms because it is part of Tuhoe culture.
His lawyer Russel Fairbrother said an application has been lodged with the Supreme Court to overturn the conviction and sentence.
Meanwhile, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara has also been granted parole and will leave prison on Monday. Urs Signer and Emily Bailey were sentenced to nine months’ home detention.
Signer said they are waiting to hear if the court will allow them to appeal against their convictions and sentences.
Copyright © 2013, Radio New Zealand[here]