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Lucy Lawless Protests Drilling

February 27, 2012 by staff 

Lucy Lawless Protests Drilling, Police scale the drilling tower to arrest Greenpeace activists, including Spartacus star Lucy Lawless, who spent four days protesting.   Lucy Lawless’ ability to travel to the United States could be “seriously impaired” if she is found guilty of burglary following her arrest after participating in a Greenpeace protest, a legal expert says.

The star of Xena and Spartacus was among seven protesters charged after a demonstration aboard a Shell drillship in Port Taranaki yesterday.

Police officers scaled the Noble Discoverer’s drilling tower to arrest the group, four days after the protest began, 53m up the ship’s drilling tower.

The group would appear in New Plymouth District Court on Thursday, police said.

Though unlikely, the protesters could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted, said Auckland University Faculty of Law associate professor Warren Brookbanks.

“They’re not going to get imprisonment at all, it would probably be dealt with by a fine, I would think. Or if they have a good lawyer they might be able to successfully persuade the court to convict and discharge them.”

Mr Brookbanks said Lawless’ lawyer would most likely seek a discharge without conviction which would allow her to continue to travel to the United States – where she frequently works – without any problems.

“[A conviction] could seriously impair her ability to travel to countries like the United States, where they take criminal convictions very seriously.”

Mr Brookbanks was surprised police chose to charge the protesters with burglary – defined by the Crimes Act as breaking and entering into any building or ship without authority and with intent to commit a crime.

“They could have charged them with being in an enclosed yard or disorderly behaviour or something like that. It strikes me that this is an element of overkill,” he said.

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