Andrew Little |
Thursday, August 1, 2013 – 08:58
Latest revelations on the Teina Pora case that more than hint at a possible miscarriage of justice are further justification for a genuinely independent review commission to be set up here, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says.
TV3’s 3rd Degree last night revealed that police officers had suspicions that the 1992 Susan Burdett rape and murder was the work of a serial rapist before Pora was arrested in 1993 and even stronger suspicions prior to his trial a year later.
It had already been revealed that in pre-arrest interviews with Pora, he could not identify the site of the crime nor describe the victim.
“The latest information confirms that the police should not review their own investigations when the integrity of those investigations comes under suspicion,” Andrew Little said.
“It suggests the Burdett investigation was unreliable, that some officers suffered wilful blindness and, worse, involved misleading defence counsel before trial about the state of the evidence.
“It is likely that had all the available evidence been put before both juries, they would have found reasonable doubt about Pora’s guilt. That there was a miscarriage seems obvious.
“In cases such as this, where there is a reasonable claim of miscarriage of justice, any subsequent investigations need to be carried out totally independently of police, the courts and the Ministry of Justice to ensure serious errors and misjudgements are reported transparently.
“An impartial body – along the lines of the UK criminal cases review commission – would act as an extra safeguard.
“In Pora’s situation we are looking at a case with a potential level of injustice similar to that of Arthur Allan Thomas.
“It justifies an immediate inquiry at the level of a commission of inquiry or Royal Commission of Inquiry to deal with the mounting serious allegations of improper conduct.”