All charges dropped against Wellington weapons expo protesters

A trespass charge has been dropped against the sole remaining defendant from a group of activists charged after protests at a weapons conference in Wellington.

Members of the group Peace Action Wellington were charged with trespass, obstruction and disorderly behaviour for their actions outside the conference at the TSB Arena in November 2015.

A charge of willful trespass was dismissed against protester Laura Drew on Thursday morning in the Wellington District Court.

It comes after 15 other protesters also had their charges of trespassing and obstruction dismissed during a six-day trial that began last week.

Judge Ian Mill dropped charges against most of the protesters when it was revealed in court that Peace Action Wellington members were lawfully demonstrating on public land.

Emma Cullen from Peace Action Wellington had her charge of trespassing outside the Defence Industry Association Conference dropped on the second day of the trial.

Ms Cullen believes police pursued a court case to make an example of the group.

"They've charged us to stop us from doing it again," she said. "People don't want to go to court - we had to take a week off work." 

Video filmed by the group submitted as evidence led to other charges being dropped.

"Their (police) evidence was flimsy," Ms Cullen said. "From the first day and the first witness their case started to crumble."

Police have been approached for comment.

The group says it now plans to pursue court costs from police after having the case hang over their heads for 15 months.

"I don't know what the actual figure is, but we hope to get some recompense for all this time and effort," Ms Cullen said.

Newshub.

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