Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bulletin; New Zealand: David Bain; Compensation hearing to be held later this year as he looks to the court for compensation. Otago Daily News.

STORY:  "Bain compo payout 'back on the table'" by reporter Hamish McNeilly, published by the Otago  Daily Times on June 7, 2014.

GIST: "David Bain's quest for compensation may be ''back on the table'' with confirmation a substantive hearing will be held later this year. This week marked five years since the former Dunedin man was acquitted of the murder of his parents, two sisters and brother in their Every St home in June 1994. A spokeswoman for Justice Minister Judith Collins said the Cabinet had put Mr Bain's application for compensation on hold, at his request. While the judicial review process was ongoing, it was inappropriate for the Minister of Justice to comment. However, her office confirmed a substantive hearing could occur later this year. Long-time supporter Joe Karam told the Otago Daily Times Mr Bain's legal team had abandoned a plan to appeal the last interlocutory decision about the provision of documents. Instead, Mr Bain's legal team had applied to the High Court to proceed with the substantive hearing, likely to be towards the end of the year. ''After that, depending on the outcome, the compensation claim will be back on the table.''"

The entire story can be found at:

See Wikipedia entry for background on Bain's compensation claim:  "In March 2010 Bain lodged an application for compensation for wrongful imprisonment.[32] His case falls outside Cabinet rules on compensation and so the Government is not obliged to pay him anything, but may do so if he is able to establish his innocence on "the balance of probabilities" and is also considered to be the "victim of exceptional circumstances".[33] Because of the high-profile nature of the case in New Zealand, in 2011 former Justice Minister Simon Power chose an overseas judge - retired Canadian Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie - to examine Bain's application for compensation.[34] Bain described to Binnie in detail the impact that imprisonment and years of negative publicity had on him.[35] After a yearlong investigation Binnie concluded, in a 180-page report,[36] that Dunedin's police had made "egregious errors" and that there were "numerous instances" of investigative ineptitude that led directly to the wrongful conviction. In particular, he described the failure of the Crown to preserve evidence in the murder investigation, by burning down the house, as one of the "extraordinary circumstances" that the Cabinet should take into account.[37] Binnie said the evidence established that "the miscarriage of justice was the direct result of a police investigation characterised by carelessness and lack of due diligence".[38] The report concluded that "on the balance of probabilities" Mr Bain was innocent of the murders in 1994 and should be paid compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.[39] The finished report was delivered to the New Zealand government in September, 2012.[40] Justice Minister Judith Collins allowed the police and the Solicitor-General, but not Bain's legal team, to see the report and then ordered a peer review by a former High Court judge, Robert Fisher. Fisher concluded that Binnie "went beyond his mandate" and that "it would be unsafe to act upon the Binnie report."[41] Collins said another report would have to be done[42] and that it would likely be 2013 before a final decision was made on whether compensation would be paid.[43] A media spat developed between Collins and Binnie, who pointed out (in an email subsequently released to the media by Collins[44]) that Fisher had not read the 10,000 pages of background files[45] and said his review was the product of someone with "little familiarity" with the case.[38] Eventually Collins released the report written by Binnie, the review by Fisher, and Binnie's email response to Fisher's review. [46]
In January 2013, Bain filed a claim in the High Court seeking a review of Collins' actions. The claim alleges Collins breached natural justice and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act in her treatment of him."[47]


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