Coco Palms dispute heats up

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Kamu Hepa testifies to the court in Hawaiian during a land dispute civil trial Friday.

LIHUE — In a tense courtroom Friday, Judge Michael Soong heard arguments in a contested court case between a developer who claims ownership of the famed Coco Palms Resort in Wailua, and a group of Native Hawaiians who say they have historical and genealogical rights to the land they’ve been occupying for nearly a year.

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