Ferry protester trial delayed

The trial of Kekaha resident Dayne Gonsalves, the leader of the Kingdom of Atooi sovereignty group who has been accused of a variety of offenses, was continued in 5th Circuit Court yesterday.

Gonsalves had been charged with simple trespassing, obstructing, disorderly conduct and obstructing government operations in connection with an Aug. 26, 2007 Superferry protest when Gonsalves and others allegedly used cars to block the vessel from unloading.

A fifth charge of impersonating an officer was tacked on when he allegedly presented a law enforcement badge upon his Oct. 23, 2007, arrest for the earlier acts.

Yesterday, the jury trial was postponed until July 21 so that Gonsalves could find a private attorney to represent him at trial instead of the public defender’s office.

“She wouldn’t help me,” Gonsalves said of public defender Dena Renti Cruz. “She refused to look up the statutes about protecting our rights.”

Cruz did not immediately return a call left at her office.

Gonsalves said yesterday afternoon that he will now be represented by attorney Daniel Hempey. Hempey also did not return a call placed to his office.

Upon the completion of the morning court appearance, Gonsalves was arrested for contempt of court, stemming from his alleged absence at a June 12 District Court appearance.

He was later released on $2,100 bail.

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