Waihopai trio face $1.2m in damages

Three men who sabotaged a radar dome at Marlborough's Waihopai Valley spybase in 2008 should be liable to pay damages of $1.2 million, according to a High Court decision.

The High Court has awarded the Crown the right to pursue the three men who broke into the Spy Base for damages.

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson had filed papers on behalf of the Government Communications Security Bureau to recover the $1.2 million in costs inflicted three years ago by teacher Adrian Leason, Dominican friar Peter Murnane and farmer Sam Land.

In the early morning of April 30, 2008, the trio cut through alarmed electric fences at the base near Blenheim and slashed one of two inflatable domes covering satellite dishes.

They claimed they were acting for the greater good and saving lives in Iraq by disrupting satellite transmissions.

In April last year, the three men were found not guilty of burglary and wilful damage, due to their "claim of right" defence.

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