Bain gets to put his compensation case

By Jarrod Booker

David Bain was acquitted of killing his family at a 2009 retrial. Photo / 60 Minutes.
David Bain was acquitted of killing his family at a 2009 retrial. Photo / 60 Minutes.

David Bain will next month get to voice his case for compensation for wrongful imprisonment to the judge assessing his claim.

Mr Bain - who in 2009 was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his parents and three siblings at a retrial - is expected to be interviewed by retired Canadian Supreme Court judge Justice Ian Binnie in Auckland next month.

Mr Bain, 40, is in line for a multimillion-dollar payout from the Government if he can prove that "on the balance of probabilities" he is innocent, and therefore was wrongfully imprisoned for 13 years.

Because Mr Bain did not have his original 1995 murder convictions quashed on appeal without order of retrial, and was not given a free pardon, he must also show his compensation bid meets the standard of "extraordinary circumstances".

Justice Binnie was appointed to assess Mr Bain's compensation claim and make a recommendation to the Government.

The Ministry of Justice would not comment on Mr Bain's forthcoming interview, or any other aspects of Justice Binnie's deliberations.

A ministry spokesman said: "Justice Binnie's role is an independent one and includes deciding the best process for assessing the claim. We can confirm that he intends to be in New Zealand in July."

Mr Bain's legal team has previously told the Herald it offered to negotiate a settlement with the Government in a bid to stop a cost blowout for the taxpayer, but this was rejected.

"This is going to involve a huge case, which in our estimation may end up costing everyone about $10 million," said Mr Bain's lawyer, Michael Reed, QC.

"We are concerned that the cost of proving David's innocence - which we are quite confident we can do - is going to be much greater than the amount of any compensation we would be claiming."

The taxpayer has already paid out more than $3 million for Mr Bain's legal expenses so far. However, he is not currently receiving legal aid for his compensation bid.

- NZ Herald

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