The Government has got the report it wanted on David Bain.

It went shopping for this and in doing so they should be ashamed. It has manipulated the process to suit its own ends.

The Callinan report apparently doesn't see innocence on the balance of probabilities, and yet the Binnie report did. Same evidence, different outcome. So why is Callinan right and Binnie isn't?

READ MORE: Bain not 'innocent beyond reasonable doubt'

Answer, because it suits the Government.


Simon Power recruited Binnie. Binnie is a globally recognised and a respected justice. When power left politics Judith Collins took over, Collins didn't like the report. She got it reviewed by a bloke called Fisher and found - guess what - problems.

Collins got booted from the Cabinet, Amy Adams took over. She commissioned the Callinan report that she now has on her desk. Of course, the report is just a report and this part of the mess of all of this.

The Government at any time can sort this out. The hurdle for cabinet has always been simple. Is Bain innocent on the balance of probabilities and/or exceptional circumstances.
Bain under Binnie met both criteria.

Remember, we got to this point because Bain was found not guilty. The legal system found him not guilty and that's been completely and utterly exhausted.

People often make the mistake and say Bain wasn't found innocent. But no one is found innocent in a court. You are found guilty or not guilty. Relitigating the case is now completely irrelevant.

You can also argue around the merits of the criteria for the Government. Why is not guilty good enough for a court but you need an even higher hurdle for the Cabinet? And even if you meet that hurdle, the outcome as regards compensation is still highly political, not legal.

Bain spent 13 years in jail for something he was found not guilty of. That's a simple irrefutable statement of fact and on that and that alone he deserves compensation - and he deserved it years ago.

Ian Binnie talks to Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking (app users tap here)

The Government has handled this appallingly. They have not only allowed this to drag on a mile longer than it needed, they have spent our money exacerbating it to meet its own ends.

It is a grubby business whereby it has usurped the judicial process and installed itself as judge and jury. It won't affect them politically because not enough people care, but from John Key to Collins to Adams - short of her somehow, miraculously putting this right - they are all tainted by this. They have all behaved beneath themselves on this and in doing so have failed to let justice be seen to be done.

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