Five AA Australia – NZ Report – Controversy Over Govt’s Handling of David Bain Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Claim

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New Zealand Report: Recorded live on 20/02/15

ITEM ONE:

Controversy continues to surround one of New Zealand’s most disturbing multiple-murder cases even after almost twenty years since a High Court jury initially found David Bain guilty of the murders of his mother, father, two sisters and his brother.

The New Zealand Government has been struggling to objectively consider whether David Bain ought to be given compensation for being wrongfully imprisoned for the murders of his family:

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  • this even after the Police case was found wanting
  • forensic evidence was corrupted
  • a plea to the Privy Council was supported and a new trial was ordered
  • that on retrial in 2009, Bain was found not guilty after 13 years imprisonment
  • that after an impartial review, ordered by NZ Government, was considered by retired Canadian High Court judge Justice Ian Binnie, who found Bain was, on the balance of probabilities, innocent of the murders and ought to be compensated for this injustice.

Even after that saga, last year the then Justice Minister Judith ‘Crusher’ Collins did not feel satisfied with the impartial judge’s report. Collins ordered another legal peer review of Justice Binnie’s report be conducted by a lawyer, of her choosing, who found Binnie over-stepped his terms of reference and found fault in the Judge’s reasoning.

Now… almost twenty years since Bain was wrongfully convicted, the new Justice Minister Amy Adams said yesterday neither the impartial judge’s report, nor the critical legal peer review, can be relied on.

The minister will now order a new impartial reassessment of Bain’s case for compensation, and that this will cost over $400,000 to $1million.

For the record, David Bain has always maintained his innocence, insisting that he was out delivering newspapers at around dawn when his parents and siblings were murdered in their home, shot while they slept… That is, apart from his father who was fatally shot while kneeling in the study.

There was a note on the family’s computer, allegedly written by the father Robin for his son David, stating ‘you were the only one who deserved to live.

See the Minister of Justice’s statement here.

ITEM TWO:
This one is rather odd. We all know New Zealand has a sizeable agriculture sector, but Waikato drivers were still surprised to see the Police bowling along a rural highway driving a tractor! See TVNZ report.

The tractor was all decked out in Police car livery and colours. There was a cop at the wheel in full uniform and police cap. However, it’s unclear whether the tractor was fitted with a siren and flashing lights.

Apparently the Police tractor was heading to Field days agricultural show in Te Awamutu as part of an official Police publicity stunt. The Police said last night it was “… all about, promoting discussions – things like rural road deaths, drug activity on farms, personal safety, stock thefts and illegal hunting.”

New Zealand Report is broadcast live on FiveAA.com.au and webcast on LiveNews.co.nz and ForeignAffairs.co.nz.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I fail to see 1) Why further money is being spent on another assessment 2) Why the cabinet can refuse to grant compensation.
    Surely if a conviction and imprisonment is overturned then the person has wrongly been deprived of their freedom and some recompense is a moral duty. It is up to the courts to rule on justice not a “star chamber”.

    • Indeed.

      Binnie’s report was fair and accurate and it was only Collins’ own warped agenda that obstructed the process.

      We need an independent Commission to oversee future processes, and keep it well away from political interference.

      This is a prime example why the judiciary is independent and compensation claims should follow suit.

      • Binnies report was riddled with basic elementary errors. Some of them were so egregious it was almost laughable, such as the ’empty magazine’ he constantly referred to that in the photos contained bullets that were clearly visible.

        Sir Thomas Thorpe are most acclaimed jurist actually did a comprehensive study on miscarriages of justice in N.Z. He studied each case in detail and found a shocking figure and that at least 20 of the applicants may be wrongfully imprisoned.

        What is notable is that he included the Bain case and went over it in painstaking detail and concluded without doubt that David Bain was guilty.

        • Binnies report was riddled with basic elementary errors.

          Yeah right, sure it was.

          Binnie, the Privy Council and the retrial, all.

          It is of interest that the original trial judge, Neil Williamson J, was the one who gave Peter Ellis such a fair go.

        • Jorge – even if Binnie got the 5 shell and 10 shell magazine cases confused (and your reliance on a particular website for your assertions is questionable), that would be a minor point in the whole case.

          In effect, you’d be condemning a man because a judge reviewing the case got one or two minor facts possibly wrong?

          Yet – and here’s the kicker – the re-trial found Bain innocent because incorrect or insufficient facts had been presented at the original trial.

          Yet, that seems immaterial to your pre-judgement of a man’s guilt/innocence.

          • “Jorge – even if Binnie got the 5 shell and 10 shell magazine cases confused (and your reliance on a particular website for your assertions is questionable”

            I’m not sure what website you are talking about. There are two magazines, one was on the gun, one was on the ground on it’s upright edge with rounds visible in it.

            There was never any empty magazine. At all. As far as physical evidence goes, the difference is huge. One that even a school kid could pick up on, yet alone a Jurist commissioned for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

            And that is just one of *many* similar errors in fact he made. It’s laughable really, and yes it makes the government look like a joke, but that’s still no excuse to go along with the joke because it would help them save face.

            “Yet – and here’s the kicker – the re-trial found Bain innocent”

            No. The retrial found there was ‘reasonable’ doubt, which isn’t hard to create 14 years after the fact with no living witnesses and a botched Police case. The retrial didn’t find him innocent, in-fact members of the Jury even took the unprecedented step of actually writing to the media because they were outraged people were claiming that was what their verdict had found.

            • “The retrial found there was ‘reasonable’ doubt, which isn’t hard to create 14 years after the fact with no living witnesses and a botched Police case. The retrial didn’t find him innocent, in-fact members of the Jury even took the unprecedented step of actually writing to the media because they were outraged people were claiming that was what their verdict had found.”
              Exactly! All to easy to blame a dead father.
              Have any of you talked to people who did time with Bain? No? Well I have. Inmates can be shrewd judges of character and the ones I have spoken to think he’s as guilty as. I rest my case.

              • The retrial didn’t find him innocent

                (facepalm).

                Your observation is meaningless, trials never determine innocence, only guilt.

                David Bain conviction from the first trial was quashed and a retrial scheduled. At that point the presumption of innocence again applied.

                Bain walked into the second trial presumed innocent, although formally accused of a crime. He walked out of the second trial also innocent, no longer formally accused of a crime.

                In the eyes of the law he is as innocent as anybody else, including you.

              • Have any of you talked to people who did time with Bain? No? Well I have. Inmates can be shrewd judges of character and the ones I have spoken to think he’s as guilty as. I rest my case.

                Funny… I heard completely different. Bain’s fellow inmates thought he was innocent.

                This isn’t evidence, Crone, it’s hearsay.

            • No. The retrial found there was ‘reasonable’ doubt, which isn’t hard to create 14 years after the fact with no living witnesses and a botched Police case. The retrial didn’t find him innocent …

              So, by your ‘logic’, if a person is charged with a crime; found NOT Guilty; then he isn’t innocent of the charge?

              Hmmm, and I thought NOT Guilty meant just that.

    • Timely reminder Selwyn,

      What is moral about this corrupt Government run by a dictator as thinkabout it asks?

      We need to wake up before it’s to late and throw this junk status Gov’t out before we are all done.

      Surely the world can see that this government is again impeding justice even after an independent Canadian Judge ruled The Baines case as flawed, they are again trying to corrupt the justice system as they did over the Dirty politics saga.

      “You can fool all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time” – sure rules here.

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