Two police jailed for lies under oath

Two police officers involved in a cover-up following the death of an Auckland man have been jailed for 15 months in Manukau District Court.

Reuben Harris and Benson Murphy were found to have lied under oath about what prompted the victim, George Tipene Harris, to flee the scene, running into the path of street sweeper, 3 News reported.

Judge Charles Blackie was told that on October 3, 2004 Murphy and Reuben Harris stopped to help off-duty colleague Clinton Hill arrest a man who allegedly tried to steal Hill's mobile phone.

Murphy now alleges Hill beat the suspect, who subsequently ran into the path of a truck.

Murphy and Harris have lodged an appeal and have been granted bail.

Hill was originally charged with assault, but now faces a manslaughter charge.

In May the Independent Police Conduct Authority announced it has reopened its file into George Harris, after charges related to his death were laid in Manukau District Court.

The charges followed a police inquiry into an alleged cover-up.

The authority had closed its file into the death in 2006, finding no evidence of criminal culpability.

- NZPA

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