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Labour's Murder Case Scandal

Labour's Murder Case Scandal

Backlogs in analysing DNA samples could be contributing to a delay in bringing murderers to justice, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Police Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

"Answers to my written Parliamentary Questions - received yesterday - indicate that, as at July 31 2004, police samples for 21 alleged homicide cases have been awaiting analysis by the Government DNA-testing agency ESR for up to nine months," Dr Newman said.

"That includes samples relating to five alleged homicides in the Canterbury police district, three in Counties-Manukau, one in North Shore/Waitakere, one in Auckland City, one in Waikato, one in Bay of Plenty, two in the Eastern district, one in the Central district, two in Wellington, two in Tasman and two in the Southern Police district.

"It is scandalous that samples of such serious crimes are left waiting for months and months when their analysis could well lead to the apprehension of murderers. Meanwhile, those murderers could well have offended again, or may be stalking the streets in search of new victims.

"Failing to insist on a one-month turnaround of such samples - as has been done with such success in the UK - is endangering innocent lives. The longer a murderer is left free, the less likely it is that they will be caught before offending again. Justice delayed is justice denied," Dr Newman said.

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