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Detectives testify in kidnapping trial

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/11/2016

Shown CCTV footage that placed him at a Rotorua service station, an accused in an abduction trial asked a detective if he was being done for kidnapping "that fella".

Detective Constable Joshua Tapsell was giving evidence in the High Court at Rotorua on Monday, where nine men are facing a raft of charges, including kidnapping a wealthy businessman and his maintenance worker.

On trial are: Benjamin Paul Dwyer, 28, Stephen William Daly, 33, Jordan Alexander Christian, 21, David Peter Clark, 36, Brent Anthony Gunning, 37, Liam John Kane, 24, Matthew John McDonnell, 45, Stacy Walton Dennis Paora, 29, and Sam Wiremu Rolleston 23.

The defendants, who have pleaded not guilty to more than 100 charges laid either separately or jointly, are all claimed either to be Head Hunters member or to have links to the gang.

Det Const Tapsell said McDonnell told him he knew some Head Hunters because they trained at the same gym, but denied looking for members for them.

He said, when he asked McDonnell if there were Head Hunters members in a gym group he'd been with in Rarotonga, he replied "maybe".

Asked if he'd been in Rotorua on February 16 to 17 last year, McDonnell said he wasn't able to say accurately.

"I showed him stills from service station footage and asked if he could identify who was in the pictures," Det Const Tapsell said.

"He indicated it was him. He asked if he was getting done for the kidnapping of that fella."

After that, McDonnell exercised his right to remain silent.

Detective Stephen Burborough testified about a conversation he had with Dwyer, who admitted he'd been a member of the Head Hunters gang for two years.

During their conversation, the detective told Dwyer he was aware of what had happened on the businessman's boat involving Dwyer's partner.

Dwyer's response was reference to the businessman using a derogatory term.

"He said he went to [the businessman's] industrial yard looking for him," Det Burborough said.

"He wanted to give him a kicking for what he'd done."

Dwyer denied being at the businessman's lake retreat from where he was allegedly kidnapped.

The conversation was not been formally recorded.

The jury heard from two officers who dealt with Kane.

One arrested him in February 2015 for unlawfully possessing a firearm which had been found in his bedroom.

The following month, the second officer charged him with kidnapping. On both occasions he maintained his right to silence.

Christian also refused a formal interview.

The trial is into its fourth week.

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