Dunne: Bain should be compensated

By Kate Shuttleworth

David Bain. Photo / Pool Photo
David Bain. Photo / Pool Photo

United Future leader Peter Dunne said in a Twitter post today David Bain should be compensated, and called the police comments on retired Canadian judge Ian Binnie's report 'inappropriate'.

Mr Dunne said in the tweet that a jury had found David Bain innocent and therefore he should be entitled to compensation.

Mr Dunne's comments about the police and Mr Bain's right to compensation come on the heels of Justice Minister Judith Collins releasing Justice Binnie's report and a peer-review of the report by retired High Court judge Robert Fisher QC.

Justice Binnie was critical in his report of the investigation into the 1994 murders of five members of Mr Bain's family, and recommended compensation for its "extraordinary circumstance."

This has been called a breach of the terms of reference set by former Justice Minister Simon Power, who told him that he did not want an opinion on whether Mr Bain qualified for compensation, and said the matter of "extraordinary circumstances" was a matter for the Cabinet.

Mr Dunne said he wanted to make sure the process was "open, transparent and fair to all concerned."

"The courts decide innocence, not the police. Police hit back at Binnie," said Mr Dunne.

Alongside Mr Dunne's comment suggesting the police had been inappropriate was a link an article where police Commissioner Peter Marshall hit back at Justice Binnie's report.

The commissioner said he didn't accept Justice Binnie's opinion that the investigation by Dunedin police contained egregious errors, or that there was a failure to investigate the possibility of innocence. He said the Dunedin police were experienced officers and had dealt with the Aramoana tragedy where 13 adults and children were shot and killed.

He said there were some errors by police which had been covered in the court action since the murders.

Ms Collins also released correspondence, interviews with witnesses and evidence collected during Justice Binnie's nine-month inquiry.

The information released showed Ms Collins had given police a copy of Justice Binnie's report months ago, received a memorandum of rebuttal and then passed those comments to Dr Fisher. Mr Bain, his lawyers and supporter Joe Karam say they were not given any information early.

In his report Justice Binnie said police wrongly and mistakenly destroyed some evidence.

Justice Minister Judith Collins did not want to comment on Mr Dunne's views, saying she had nothing to add to what she had already said.

Yesterday (Thur) she said Justice Binnie's report was "fatally flawed".

A spokeswoman for Labour Leader David Shearer said the matter was for Cabinet, and he didn't want to pass judgement on Mr Dunne's views.

TIMELINE

- June 20, 1994: Five Bain family members shot to death at 65 Every St, Dunedin: Robin, 58; Margaret, 50; Arawa, 19; Laniet, 18; Stephen, 14.

- May 1995: David Cullen Bain found guilty of murder on five counts. Sentenced to life imprisonment with 16-year minimum.

- December 1995: Court of Appeal dismisses appeal.

- April 1996: A petition to appeal to the Privy Council was dismissed.

- December 2000: Governor General refers six questions to the Court of Appeal following application by Bain to the Governor General for the exercise of mercy (a pardon) and the court considers there could have been a miscarriage of justice.

- February 2003: Governor-General refers convictions back to the Court of Appeal, case heard in September and the case dismissed in December 2003.

- June 2006: Privy Council gives leave to appeal convictions.

- May 2007: Privy Council quashes convictions and orders retrial after hearings in March 2007.

- June 2009: Bain acquitted in retrial in Christchurch after almost 13 years in prison.

- March 2010: Bain lodges application for compensation for wrongful imprisonment.

- November 2011: Then-Justice Minister Simon Power appoints former Supreme Court judge of Canada Ian Binnie to assess claim.

- September 2012: Justice Binnie delivers report to new Justice Minister Judith Collins.

- September 2012: Collins sends Binnie report to former NZ High court Judge Robert Fisher for peer review.

- December 2012: Collins publicly criticises Binnie report for errors and misunderstanding of New Zealand law. Binnie complains about an improper process and Collins releases both reports.

- APNZ

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