Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Decision in Relation to the Retrial of David Bain

MEDIA STATEMENT: SOLICITOR GENERAL

21 June 2007

Decision of the Solicitor-General in Relation to the Retrial of David Cullen Bain

1. I have determined that it is appropriate that the retrial of Mr Bain continues as ordered by the Privy Council.

2. It will be for the High Court to determine when and where the trial takes place. There are indications that the trial may be able to commence in Dunedin early next year.

3. Because of the public interest in this case. And because of the considerable degree of misreporting of information, I am taking the very unusual step of explaining in general terms why I do not intend to intervene. Having made and explained my decision, I cannot and will not engage in public debate about this decision or the case.

4. The Starting point is the Privy Council judgment. The following points need to be understood:

4.1 The Privy Council did not acquit Mr Bain. The Privy Council explained that its judgment makes no comment at all on whether or not Mr Bain is guilty or innocent. The Privy Council said his guilt or innocence in the light of the new evidence he has advanced can only be decided by a jury.

4.2 The Privy Council had the option of allowing Mr Bain's appeal and causing a verdict of acquittal to be recorded. This is what the Privy Council did on the two previous occasions that it allowed criminal appeals from New Zealand.

4.3 What the Privy Council did in this case was order a retrial.

5. It is not appropriate that I go into details of every factor that I have considered in determining that these proceedings should not be stayed. The following is a very brief list of many of the factors that I have taken into account:

5.1 The Seriousness of the crimes, by any analysis, the murders, which took place in the Bain household, were extremely serious. It is one of the most horrific cases in New Zealand's history.

5.2 The time Mr Bain has spent in prison; about three-quarters of the minimum parole period.

5.3 The availability of witnesses.

5.4 The availability of exhibits.

5.5 The Length of time that has elapsed since the murders occurred.

5.6 The ability of Mr Bain to obtain a fair trial.

5.7 The strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution case.

6. Although after Mr Bain's release on bail both Mr Reed QC and Mr Karam publicly said that they had no issue with me being the person who has to make the decision on whether or not the prosecution of Mr Bain shall continue, I have taken the step of consulting senior and experienced lawyers outside of Crown Law about the process that I have followed and the factors I have taken into account in reaching this decision. I have also paid very careful attention to detail points made on Mr Bain's behalf by his lawyers, who consider that there should be no retrial.

7. Following Mr Bain's release on bail, a number of persons commented about the respective strengths and weaknesses of the Crown and defence cases. I was at that time not prepared to consider contempt proceedings, as I had still to consider whether or not the prosecution would continue. Now that decision has been made, I wish to make it very clear that it is not appropriate for there to be further public debate about he evidence or any other public comment that is calculated or likely in influence a future jury.

8. I want to emphasise, that under our system of justice, it is a jury, which determines guilt or innocence in a case such as this. The jury reaches its conclusion after it has considered all of the evidence and after receiving directions on the law from the trial Judge. Guilt or innocence of an accused person is not decided by the media or public opinion polls. Those who attempt to usurp or otherwise influence the trial process risk facing a charge of contempt of Court.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Davos World Economic Forum: Ardern Upbeat Despite Absences

The prime minister will soon wrap up her first day at the World Economic Forum in Davos, which is notable for who is there as much as who isn't.

Domestic political crises have kept a number of world leaders at home including US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Shipping Is NZ’s New Trade Problem

So Jacinda Ardern and Theresa May have signed a piece of paper promising peace in our time when it comes to our trade with Britain... Brexit is not the only concern. More>>

ALSO:

Reshuffle: National Announces Spokesperson For Drug Reform

National Leader Simon Bridges has appointed Paula Bennett to the new position of Spokesperson for Drug Reform as the Government pushes ahead with its agenda of drug decriminalisation, to signal National’s commitment to holding them to account. More>>

ALSO:

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday]. More>>

ALSO:

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels