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Goff appoints QC to advise on compo for three girl

14th August 2002

Goff appoints QC to advise on compo for three girls

Justice Minister Phil Goff has appointed a QC to give him independent advice on an application for compensation for the three girls wrongfully imprisoned for aggravated robbery in 1999.

Mr Goff has received a preliminary application for compensation from Gary Gotlieb, the lawyer for Tania Vini, Lucy Akatere and McCushla Fuataha.

In accordance with Cabinet guidelines, Mr Goff has appointed Ms Kristy McDonald QC to provide him with independent advice on whether the girls meet the criteria for compensation and, if so, what amount of compensation is appropriate, taking into account the factors listed in the guidelines.

Among the relevant factors is the conduct of Crown agencies involved in the prosecution, including the Police. The Police have undertaken an internal investigation into this aspect of the matter, and this will be relevant to Ms McDonald’s inquiry.

“Although the manner in which she undertakes this work is a matter for Ms McDonald’s discretion, there will be an additional opportunity for the three girls to make further submissions once all the information has been gathered in relation to their case.

“It is not possible to state exactly how long this process will take, however, I have asked Ms McDonald to give this matter priority and to provide me with her written opinion as quickly as possible”, Mr Goff said.


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