Wife killer Colin Bouwer launches order bid

Convicted wife killer Colin Bouwer has launched a bid to prevent him being deported upon his release from jail. Photo / Otago Daily Times
Convicted wife killer Colin Bouwer has launched a bid to prevent him being deported upon his release from jail. Photo / Otago Daily Times

Convicted wife killer Colin Bouwer has launched a bid to prevent him being deported upon his release from jail.

Bouwer appeared before the New Zealand Parole Board last week, where he requested parole be declined.

He is serving a life sentence for murdering his wife, Annette, by administering a lethal cocktail of drugs intended to mimic the symptoms of a rare tumour, between September 1999 and her unexpected death on January 5, 2000.

Bouwer is subject to a deportation order and will be returned to his native South Africa when parole is granted.

The board's decision, released yesterday, revealed Bouwer had sought to cancel that order because of his ongoing health issues.

Bouwer's lawyer, David More, disclosed Bouwer's illness in April, saying he "isn't well at the moment".

Details and the extent of the illness have not been disclosed publicly, but in its decision, the parole board said Bouwer had "suffered significant health issues", which resulted in "periods of hospitalisation and ongoing treatment".

Bouwer's bid to cancel the deportation order against him was launched last week.

A spokeswoman for the Associate Minister of Immigration Craig Foss confirmed Mr Foss had received the application.

"The minister's office received a request for an intervention last week and it will be considered in due course," she said.

Requests for intervention were considered in the order they were received, unless there were exceptional circumstances, and Bouwer's bid would "join the queue".

There was no timeframe for the matter to be assessed and the grounds for request would not be discussed in the interim, the spokeswoman said.

Mr More confirmed the process was "under way", but would not comment further."I simply can't comment because I'm not going to prejudice the decision of the minister," he said.

In its decision, the parole board said Bouwer was not seeking parole until the issues surrounding the deportation order were resolved.

"There is no question of parole today," the board's decision said.

"It is declined."

Bouwer is on a waiting list for psychological treatment, a recommendation made by the board when he appeared last September.

The board would require an updated psychological report, a release plan regarding his accommodation and plans for employment - especially in relation to South Africa if he was to be deported - and reports from clinicians about his health, detailing his medical conditions and treatment, the decision said.

Bouwer's bid for parole was also declined by the board last year, as he remained an undue risk to the community.

However, he claimed at that hearing he was innocent of murder and would be launching an appeal to the Privy Council against his conviction, as his original defence case was wrong.

He told the board at last year's hearing that he assisted his wife to commit suicide when she became ill as part of a suicide pact between the pair.Bouwer's illness then came to light when it emerged no appeal had been launched because of his health issues.

Mr More said, yesterday, he had received no further instruction on the appeal to the Privy Council and could not disclose further details of Bouwer's illness.

A parole board spokesman said the board had not received any application for compassionate release.

Following his wife's death in 2000, Bouwer travelled to South Africa and returned bald and without his trademark beard.He told people the changes were a result of chemotherapy he had for prostate cancer. It emerged that story was false.

In September 2001, Bouwer was jailed for a minimum non-parole period of 13 years.

That period was increased to 15 years after an appeal by the Crown.

Bouwer will next appear before the parole board next September.

- Otago Daily Times

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