The Government faces five possible compensation claims for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

Information released by the Ministry of Justice shows that as well as a claim from former Dunedin man David Bain, there are four other claims from three people seeking compensation.

One claimant has two applications relating to different sets of convictions.

The ministry declined a request under the Official Information Act to name the claimants, because the claims were being assessed by a QC. But it confirmed the nature of each conviction and the application dates:


* Threatening to kill and trying to pervert the course of justice (April 2007).
* Rape and other sexual offending (two applications by the same person, July 2010).
* Rape (December 2010).

Cabinet guidelines govern compensation claims for wrongful conviction and imprisonment, and only those who meet certain criteria may apply to the Minister of Justice for compensation.

The minister refers claims that "merit further assessment" to a QC to assess whether the claimant is innocent on the balance of probabilities and, if so, the appropriate compensation. The QC would consider non-monetary and monetary losses. Cabinet would make the final decision.

In November, the ministry appointed a retired Canadian Supreme Court judge to assess Mr Bain's claim. Mr Bain was convicted in 1995 of murdering his family and spent 13 years in jail before being found not guilty in a 2009 retrial.