Bundy man in court over fight with Gympie mayor
TWO worlds collided in Gympie District Court yesterday when Gympie land rights activists challenged the jurisdiction of the court, while seeking to defend violence charges against them.
Diana Patricia Redden-King, Wit-Booka (charged under the name of Gary Tomlinson) and Bundaberg man Mervyn Tomlinson appeared on charges of assaulting Gympie Mayor Mick Curran and Gympie Regional Council CEO Bernard Smith and trespassing on council property, which they claim is rightfully Aboriginal land.
The group's spokeswoman, Miss Redden-King, said the three had attended the council's Mary St headquarters with peaceful intent and were exercising their right to tell the council they believed it was occupying the site illegally.
She said the three had been dealt with violently and sought the reports of DNA and blood type analysis of samples from the council foyer, claiming most of the blood would have been Wit-boooka's.
She accused police of frustrating the defence by not willingly making evidence available, including video material taken by a bystander, identified as Janet Lang.
Crown prosecutor Susan Geary said Ms Lang was only calling police, but Miss Redden-King said the woman was holding the phone in a way that indicated otherwise.
Miss Redden-King also said police had been unco-operative in helping identify others present, who could be important witnesses for the defence.
Judge Gary Long noted the three appeared to be challenging the jurisdiction of the court while seeking that it exercise that jurisdiction regarding proper conduct of the trial.
He ordered police to provide relevant material and to have the arresting officer and Ms Lang available as witnesses for cross examination at a reconvened pre-trial hearing in Maroochydore on December 13.