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Stene: Shocked by TMT protesters’ acquittal

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By Aaron Stene | Special to Hawaii 24/7

I’m utterly shocked that Judge Barbara Takase acquitted several Thirty Meter Telescope protesters of obstruction.

These protesters obviously were breaking the law by purposely blocking a publicly accessible roadway. However, Judge Takase accepted the protesters’ defense of their actions.

The protesters assert they were preventing the desecration of Mauna Kea by blocking access to the mountain.

It boggles my mind that she accepted the protesters’ defense of their actions. The TMT project has followed the law every step of the way.

The project’s EIS was accepted in 2010, and it had a valid conservation district use permit until the Hawaii Supreme Court invalidated it in December.

The court took this action because the petitioners’ due process rights were violated.

In short, Judge Takase took it upon herself to determine the TMT project is a desecration to Mauna Kea.

This is an utter travesty, as there is nothing officially that would support this position.

I suspect she was more afraid of being charged with a possible “war crime” instead of following the law.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

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