Social Justice Aotearoa has created a petition seeking a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the wrongful conviction of Allan Hall.
Allan Hall was convicted of murder in 1986 at age 23 and spent a total of 19 years behind bars for a crime he always maintained he did not commit.
Extensive police questioning of Hall ensued and investigator Tim McKinnel said the nature of the questioning, and the vulnerability of a man singled out for being different was problematic.
The description of the attacker and key witness statements from a man who was in the area at the time, were concealed by police, and a jury found Hall guilty of the murder in 1986.
the Crown failed to disclose all evidence, which weakened the defense’s case, including statements from witnesses about the ethnicity of a person seen, and evidence about which was the assailant’s dominant hand.
The evidence from police interrogation should have been excluded because they went on for too long, without a lawyer and without any recordkeeping.
Justice had been seriously miscarried through extreme incompetence or even a deliberate strategy to achieve a conviction.
Evidence from four witnesses was withheld from the judge and the jury. A witness who saw the intruder running away, told the police several times that the man he saw was Māori and Police specifically questioned him about this evidence but declined to call that witness to testify at the trial, instead getting that witness to sign a written statement which was then read to the jury however, the police altered that statement before it was presented to the court. Turner was unaware the police had changed his statement until two years later.
The police also withheld from the court statements from two other witnesses stating that the intruder was Māori also failing to disclose testimony (about the intruder’s ethnicity) from the ambulance officer who attended scene on the night of the fatality.
Not only did the police remove vital information from witnesses’ statements, but they also added something to it which hadn’t been said.
The whole Allan Hall investigation, conviction, and eventual pardon, is, I believe one of Aotearoa’s darkest days in policing and clearly shows how arrogant police can be.
Jackie Foster, CEO, Social Justice Aotearoa