Lā 289: TMT protester who presented case in Hawaiian found not guilty

Hawaii News Now Posted: Jan 08, 2016 5:16 PM HST Updated: Jan 08, 2016 7:13 PM HST By HNN Staff

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A man facing jail time for blocking access to Mauna Kea's summit during a massive protest last June has been found not guilty.

Kaho'okahi Kanuha represented himself in district court Friday morning, presenting his entire case in Hawaiian.

Prosecutors alleged Kanuha acted unlawfully, but a Hawaiian language immersion preschool teacher argued he was standing in protection of the mountain as a sacred Native Hawaiian place.

Kanuha was one of 12 people arrested on June 24 for preventing TMT construction crews from reaching their site.

Two others in prior cases were convicted of similar charges for arrests that took place on April 2 when a total of 31 people were taken into custody.

This was the first trial since the state Supreme Court ruled TMT's permit as invalid, placing the project on indefinite hold.

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