Sunday, January 12, 2014

Teina Pora; New Zealand; This case, which has forensic implications, is being used to back up arguments that New Zealand needs an independent criminal cases review process. The Charles Smith Blog will therefore be reporting future developments. A New Zealand Herald article entitled "Teina Pora case: Police fear miscarriage of justice" is an excellent backgrounder to future reports. Harold Levy. Publisher;

STORY: "Teina Pora case: Police fear miscarriage of justice," by reporter Phil Taylor,  published by the New Zealand Herald on August 3, 2013.

GIST:  "In an unprecedented move, the Police Association is calling for an independent inquiry into the conviction of Teina Pora, who is now into his 21st year in prison for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett. President Greg O'Connor told the Weekend Herald that the request was the first in the 16 years he has led the association, which represents rank-and-file police officers, but he believes it is justified on this occasion. It should not be run by the police but could be a ministerial inquiry conducted by a Queen's Counsel. "It's a justice-sector issue. It's not a police issue. The police can't walk up to the prison and say, 'Let him out'." Mr O'Connor said there were sufficient issues that raised the prospect that a miscarriage had occurred, and significant disquiet among police......... The Weekend Herald first revealed in May last year that the detective whose expert testimony convicted Malcolm Rewa of raping Ms Burdett believed Pora was wrongly convicted of her murder. In 1996, DNA testing showed the semen inside Ms Burdett, who was killed in 1992, belonged to Rewa, a serial rapist who was unknown at the time of Pora's trial but was convicted in 1998 of raping her. Detective Dave Henwood, a multi-award-winning criminal profiler, said there were no doubts in his mind Rewa committed the crime alone, and that Pora was innocent. Since then, more doubt has been cast on Pora's conviction, including revelations on TV3's Third Degree this week that a woman raped by Rewa two weeks before the attack on Ms Burdett said she, too, believed an innocent man was in jail. The programme also discovered that before Pora's first trial, police had believed Ms Burdett was attacked by a serial rapist but did not disclose this to Pora's lawyers......... Meanwhile, the investigator who says there is new evidence to show Pora is innocent has accused the police hierarchy of being myopic, selective and wasting public money. Tim McKinnel, a former police detective, has collected new expert opinion evidence that concludes Pora gave a false confession and that Rewa attacked Ms Burdett on his own. He has questioned the police's refusal to review the whole case and attacked its claim that Pora, Rewa and an unknown third man were involved. "This talk of a third offender is not supported by any evidence other than Teina Pora's (false) confessions. I can't see how they can justify spending probably tens of thousands of taxpayers' dollars on this ridiculous search for somebody that any objective review will show doesn't exist. "If they were genuinely looking for a third offender, why did they do nothing for 10 years?""

The entire story can be found at:

The Wikipedia entry can be found at the link below:  Teina Pora is a New Zealander who was convicted of murdering Susan Burdett when he was aged 17; he has been in Paremoremo prison since 1994 for the crime. In 1992, 39 year old Burdett was raped and murdered in her home in Papatoetoe. She was repeatedly struck in the head with a softball bat. About a year later, Teina Pora who was a Mongrel Mob prospect at the time,[1] was arrested on other charges and confessed. He was subsequently convicted of rape and murder in 1994.[2][3] Pora appealed his conviction, but in 2000, was found guilty for his crime a second time......... 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]"


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