Monday, March 30, 2015

Teina Pora: New Zealand; Momentous decision: British Privy Council recommends that he should not face a new trial - and the focus now moves to compensation for his wrongful conviction and more than 20 years behind bars as a convicted rapist;

"The 39-year-old's convictions for the 1992 rape and murder of South Auckland woman Susan Burdett were quashed a month ago. Now the Privy Council in London has recommended he doesn't face a retrial. ........Mr Pora's lawyer, Jonathan Krebs, says his client appreciates that this marks the end of his connection with the justice system over "this horrible crime".  Mr Pora was twice convicted for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett. But his defence team argued to the Privy Council that a confession he made to police was false. The Privy Council threw out the convictions and sought submissions from the Crown and defence as to whether he should be re-tried. The Crown says when it considered Mr Pora had already spent more than 20 years in prison and was on parole at the time his appeal to the Privy Council was granted, it decided it wasn't in the public's interest to push for a retrial. Now an innocent man, he's eyeing compensation for those two decades spent behind bars.

PS: For latest coverage of the Mark Lundy retrial  go to:  

See Wikipedia account:

"Teina Anthony Pora (born 9 June 1975)[2] is a New Zealander who spent over 21 years in prison for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett, before his conviction was quashed by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in 2015.[3] Pora was aged 17 at the time of his arrest in 1993, and was imprisoned in Auckland Prison from 1994 until he was released on parole in 2014.[4]
Susan Burdett was raped and murdered in her home in Papatoetoe in March 1992. Pora was interviewed at the time, but Police did not think he was involved. It was not until he was arrested a year later on a separate matter that Pora mentioned to Police that he knew who committed the murder - after Police discussed both a monetary reward and indemnity from prosecution. In a series of interviews over four days, Pora then gave various accounts of what happened and of his involvement.[3] Based on these 'confessions', in 1994 he was subsequently charged and convicted of Burdett's rape and murder. Four years later police discovered that the semen found in Burdett's body came from another man, Malcolm Rewa. In 1999, Rewa was tried and also convicted of the rape - but not the murder - of Susan Burdett. Following this development, Pora took his case to the Court of Appeal which quashed his convictions.[5] However, Pora was retried in 2000, found guilty a second time, and returned to prison.[6] After spending 21 years in prison, Teina Pora was released on parole in April 2014.[7] Despite his release, he continued to maintain his innocence and appealed to the Privy Council. In March 2015, the Council quashed his convictions because new medical evidence indicated he had been born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder which could explain his false confessions. On 30 March 2015, the Privy Council went a step further and recommended he should not be retried. The decision has been welcomed by both the Crown and defence."