A Hawke's Bay man jailed over a murder in Napier and then discharged before trial because of a lack of evidence against him is now suing the Attorney-General.
Zion Hiona King spent 16 months behind bars after he was accused and charged with murdering his neighbour Chattrice Maihi-Carroll, who was found dead in her flat on the corner of Venables Ave and Cottrell Cres, Onekawa South, on January 20, 2008.
King was arrested two months later and only released in February 2010 after being discharged when the Crown told the Judge it would be would not be "safe" to put the matter before a jury and it was offering no evidence.
Despite being confronted by a bloody scene in the attack on the 46-year-old grandmother, forensics experts were unable to find any DNA linking him to the crime.
Thirteen years on, no one has been convicted for Maihi-Carroll's murder.
In the High Court at Wellington on Monday, King's lawyer Rodney Harrison QC filed a civil suit against the Attorney-General on behalf of state authorities, Stuff reported.
This included Police, the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), and prosecuting lawyers, with King making a $300,000 claim.
The suit was for a breach of his fair trial rights and arbitrary detention.
Harrison told the court if the evidence was not safe for a trial, it had not been at the start when the decision was made to charge King, Stuff reported.
It reported that Austin Powell, acting on behalf of the Crown, said Justices of the Peace had accepted there was enough evidence for the charge to continue, and twice judges dismissed applications to discharge him.
While King had suffered as a result of the murder accusation, he had no legal basis for compensation, Powell said.
The trial is expected to continue through until early next week.