Barry Soper: Malcolm Rewa must be tried

Malcolm Rewa.
Malcolm Rewa.

It's an abdication of law and order in this country if Malcolm Rewa's not now put on trial for the murder of Susan Burdett.

In a carefully scripted interview with journalists at Parliament the Police Commissioner Mike Bush accepted for the first time that Teina Pora, twice convicted for the murder, was innocent.

But when asked whether Rewa, who was convicted of Ms Burdett's rape but had two juries undecided whether he'd killed her, should now again face trial for the murder he was equivocal.

Bush said the legal advice is that it's not sufficient to change the circumstances and there was no new evidence to put before the court.

But the police got it wrong, they should now put it right. When the juries considered the murder charges against Rewa they would have known that Pora, four years earlier had been convicted of the crime. Now that he's been found innocent, surely that's a change of circumstances and Rewa should face the consequences.

Pora wasn't at the murder scene, that's now been accepted, but Rewa's semen was.

How much more evidence do they need?

It seems that anything that could have been considered new evidence, that has been put to the police, has been ignored. Even Justice Rodney Hansen, who exonerated Pora and recommended the compensation for him, was categorical.

The undisputed evidence, he said, led to the irresistible inference that serial rapist Rewa acted alone in the sexual violation and murder of Ms Burdett and added, there was no credible evidence that he was accompanied by Pora.

Many have asked, why go to another trial for Rewa, who'll likely spend the rest of his days behind bars, or at least until Her Majesty decides he's free to go?

The answer is simple _ for the Burdett family in the first instance, and for justice.

- NZ Herald

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