Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bulletin: Teina Pora: Major development; The British Privy Council has agreed to take on his case: (False confession case. HL); TV New Zealand;

STORY: "Teina Pora appeal to be heard at Privy Council," published by TV New Zealand on January 31, 2014;

GIST; 'Teina Pora has been granted permission to take his case to the Privy Council. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has just announced its decision. Pora has been behind bars since 1994 after he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape and murder of Auckland woman Susan Burdett. Pora initially confessed to the crime but then claimed he was not responsible and has subsequently maintained he is innocent. Last year the victim's brother Jim Burdett called for a Commission of Inquiry into the police handling of the investigation into the 1992 rape and murder of his sister saying that the only thing Pora is guilty of is "stupidity". Mr Burdett supported the appeal to the Privy Council saying he believes there has been a miscarriage of justice."

The entire story can be found at:

See Wikipedia account:  "Two police officers have expressed concerns that Pora has been wrongly convicted - including former Detective Sergeant Ian McCormack whose testimony helped convict Malcolm Rewa of numerous rapes. Henwood believes Rewa raped and murdered Mrs Burdett and acted alone based on his detailed knowledge of Rewa's criminal signature.[3] In 2012 a second senior officer, who also worked on the case, wrote to Police Commissioner Peter Marshall expressing his concern that the wrong man had been convicted.[10] In 2013, The Police Association officially called for a review of Pora's conviction, citing "sufficient concern among some senior detectives to warrant an inquiry".[11] Professor Laurence Alison, chair of forensic psychology at Liverpool University,concluded that it is "highly unlikely" Malcolm Rewa would have worked with any co-offender, let alone with Pora.[12] Susan's brother, Jim Burdett, also believes that Rewa was the one who raped and killed his sister. He believes Susan stood up for herself, that Rewa took the bat off her that she kept for self-defence and "struck the blows that killed her".[13] Gisli Gudjonsson, professor of forensic psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, was asked to review the nine hours of videotaped interviews and talked with Pora in prison. Gudjonsson is a renowned authority on how people can be induced to make false "confessions",  said Pora's confession were the result of intellectual impairment and his desire to claim the $20,000 reward - Pora was told there was an "indemnity against prosecution for non-principal offenders".[4] Gudjonsson believes the convictions "are fundamentally flawed and unsafe".[7] According to Dominion Post reporter, Phil Kitchen, who has written extensively about the case, Pora "couldn't find the street Burdett lived in, couldn't point out her house when police stood him in front of it, described Burdett as fair and fat when she was dark and slim, didn't know the (victim's) bed was a waterbed...couldn't describe the house layout... didn't know the position her body was left in, (and) said she screamed and yelled when her closest neighbour heard only a series of dull thuds. And those he claimed had raped her were all cleared by DNA.[3][4] The Maori Party has backed an inquiry in the case.[14] A documentary about his case titled The Confessions of Prisoner T was aired on Maori television on 5 May 2013. It featured defence lawyer, Marie Dyhrberg, who said that out of all the criminals she has ever been involved with, she believed in Pora's innocence more than any other.[8] In response to the documentary, the Green Party also called for a review. Green Party spokesman David Clendon has written to Police Commissioner Peter Marshall asking him to reopen the case. He said "serious misconduct by police was rare in New Zealand", but "it was important to maintain the public's faith in the justice system by holding a review"."[15]


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.

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