HILO – The battle over Mauna Kea moved to Hilo on Tuesday.
22 of the so called “Mauna Kea 31” – the name for those arrested on the mountain for the blockade of the Thirty Meter Telescope construction project on April 2 – packed the District Court in Hilo to enter their plea. However, there was confusion over where they were supposed to be.
One by one, the Mauna Kea 31 made their appearance before Judge Barbara Takase. They were told their arraignment would be held on May 7 in Waimea, the proper location for the incident that technically occurred in the Hamakua district.
Some of the defendants were represented by an attorney. Others were going it alone.
A few of the defendants who said they are unable to make it to the May 7 court date were arraigned oin the spot, and entered a plea of not guilty.
Judge Takase also decided to refund the bail money for most of the defendants.