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Franks: Add Dale Rape Case to Ellis Inquiry

The Dale rape case should be included in the Ellis inquiry to ensure a thorough investigation is made, said ACT justice spokesman Stephen Franks.

“We must establish whether the law is no longer protecting the innocent.”
The Government yesterday refused a petition for pardon of three men convicted of a 1996 rape. The men had sought a pardon after their accuser authored and signed a retraction of her testimony in front of a Justice of the Peace.

“Former chief justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum is currently conducting an investigation into the Ellis case and has been asked to review unsafe interviewing practices, the evaluation of evidence and to highlight areas that need to be changed and improved. He also has the freedom to make further inquiries applicable to sex cases.

“Groups in New Zealand want to adopt a proposed change in British sex crime law. Instead of the prosecution having to prove non consensual sex, the accused would have to prove consent, if it was an available defence.

“This is no trivial matter. The requirement for corroboration of certain evidence in rape cases was removed years ago. That was probably sensible, but many people believe our court system is now so politically correct as to be susceptible to miscarriages of justice. Canterbury University criminologist, Greg Newbold, in his new book – Crime in New Zealand – has evidence that the courts are biased against men in cases involving women.

“The Dale example, as well as the Ellis case, may show why earlier judges developed special rules for sex cases to reduce prejudice towards the innocent. To now consider a complete reversal of the burden of proof is a serious matter.

“The Minister of Justice Phil Goff must deal with the suspicion of politically correct injustice from our courts. He should ensure that the Dale, and burden of proof, matters are considered by the Ellis inquiry,” said Stephen Franks.

ENDS



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