I don't know Mark Hotchin, I'm neither defending nor attacking him: we simply owe it to ourselves to dispassionately understand the nature of the society we live in, and most of us would know what sort of a state practices detention without trial; well, an asset freeze with neither trial nor charge, for nineteen months, is a police state. When we smugly watch the nascent protests against Putin in Russia, and draw the obvious conclusions about that state, we are all missing the jackboots standing inside every room in New Zealand.
More and more I ask myself how can this happen? Every NBR and interest.co.nz thread about Hotchin is full of personal vitriol against the man, with no one seemingly able to grasp the desperate principles underneath his frozen life. I suspect it just shows how slavish as a society we have become behind the IRon Drape, in which the unprincipled hate of people laughing at the state-built gallows of their own lives, is part of the course in a country where a vigilante TV show consistently tops the weekly ratings.
To me, this denotes a State with far more power than I'm comfortable with, and no justice for the individual of Mark Hotchin, no matter what you think of him. The champagne thieving bureaucrats at the SFO need to charge Hotchin, or not, and give him his day in court (and unlike Mr Hubbard, don't make him have to sue to use his own money to defend himself). This isn't Putin's Russia, is it? It's New Zealand. Perhaps the difference is far less than we would all like to think.
2) My real concern, Mr Hotchin has had his assets frozen for over one [correction, four ]year[s] now, and still no criminal fraud charge has been laid, and prosecution of same would be the only appropriate role of state (which civil cases may well flow from). Nobody seems to have difficulty understanding that detention without trial is a practice that denotes the totalitarian State, not a state of freedom, well, how is Mr Hotchin having his life effectively frozen for over one year without a trial, or even a charge, any different (no matter what you might think of the man)? Does he get access to his funds to fight the State now in this civil case? Surely, even if it were legitimate the State take the civil case - it's not, but bear with me - then any criminal wrongdoing must be proven first?