Wednesday, August 20, 2014

David Bain: New Zealand; Joe Karem, his ardent supporter, describes how the "mountain of evidence" claimed by the police dintegrated into "a small pile of rubble," - as he makes the case that New Zealand needs both a Criminal Cases Review Commission and an independent comission against corruption. (Must Read. HL); The New Zealand Herald.

COMMENTARY: "Trust police reviews? No way," by Joe Karam, published by the New Zealand Herald on August 3, 2014.

SUB-HEADING:  "For 13 years, Joe Karam fought to free David Bain. Today, the justice campaigner writes exclusively for the Herald on Sunday on this week's review of the Crewe murders, and on law changes he believes are needed."

PHOTO CAPTION:   "Bain spent 13 years in jail for the murders of his family, before a campaign led by Joe Karam won him a retrial at which he was acquitted."

GIST: "As far as police reviews go, I was involved in one of the other most highly publicised of all time; the one done as a result of the publication of my first book, David and Goliath, the Bain Family Murders, in 1997. That report found that the police investigation into the deaths of the Bain family was a copybook inquiry, conducted with integrity. For nearly two decades senior police, including commissioners, reiterated that finding, and claimed they had a mountain of evidence against David. That mountain disintegrated into a small pile of rubble at the 2009 retrial. Put simply, police reviews of police actions cannot be trusted or believed. Similarly, police reviews of criminal cases that go off the rails are a waste of time. Invariably, they diminish police shortcomings, find no new evidence and seek to close down discussion. Just as predictably, they are a source of derision and amazement from the public, and bring the reputation of the organisation into even greater disrepute. Prominent proponents of the status quo are police national headquarters themselves, and others with close connections such as former police minister Judith Collins and former High Court judge Robert Fisher, who acted for the police at the 1981 royal commission. The Independent Police Complaints Authority is the ultimate toothless tiger. If New Zealand wishes to rid itself of the plague of miscarriages of justice that go on for decades — such as Thomas, Bain, Doherty, Ellis, Pora and many others — we must change the way we deal with them."

The entire commentary can be found at:


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