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Wider Inquiry Claim Wrong

Justice Minister Phil Goff says counsel for Peter Ellis, Judith Ablett Kerr QC, has misconstrued the comments of one of the experts used in the Ministerial Inquiry suggesting he said a wider inquiry was required.

"Mrs Ablett Kerr has got it wrong claiming Professor Graham Davies of Leicester University advised a broader inquiry was needed.

"Professor Davies said in the report there were issues beyond his remit relating to details of evidence which the wider inquiry may wish to consider," Mr Goff said.

The Minister said in its context, however, the reference to 'the wider inquiry' meant the inquiry by former Chief Justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum.

"Both of the experts' reports, including Professor Davies', were commissioned to give Sir Thomas expert advice on matters relating to the children's evidence.

"The details of the evidence referred to by Professor Davies were fully considered by Sir Thomas, who spent over 400 hours studying tapes, depositions and trial transcripts, Court of Appeal decisions and other material relevant to Mr Ellis' conviction.

"The Royal Commission of Inquiry which Mrs Ablett Kerr continues to call for would not have been appropriate. Such a wide-ranging factual inquiry would result in the children involved being required to revisit their evidence given ten years ago, when they were aged only 3 or 4 years old. That would have little purpose, given the lapse of time. It would also create unnecessary trauma and stress for the young people involved.

"There is also no need to relitigate matters which had been clearly dealt with by seven judges over two Court of Appeal hearings.

"I remind Mrs Ablett Kerr of Sir Thomas' conclusion in his report that the case advanced by Mr Ellis failed 'by a distinct margin' and that his findings were not 'anything like a borderline judgement," Mr Goff said.


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