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Goff releases reports into Bain case

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Justice
Media Statement

22 December 2003

Goff releases reports into Bain case

Justice Minister Phil Goff today released the Ministry of Justice's report and Sir Thomas Thorp's review of the David Bain case.

Both reports independently concluded that there had not been a miscarriage of justice in the case. The Ministry report noted, however, that there might have been some errors in the presentation of the evidence at the original trial.

The reports had been withheld pending the Court of Appeal's consideration of the case. Last week the Court dismissed the appeal, saying "we have not been persuaded that there has been a miscarriage of justice on the ground of further evidence or any other ground".

“David Bain petitioned the Governor General for the exercise of the royal prerogative of mercy in June 1998," Mr Goff said.

“Given the level of public concern; the possible errors, and the circumstantial nature of the case, I advised the Governor-General to seek an opinion from the Court of Appeal about certain aspects.

“This was an unusual step, but I wanted to ensure certainty in the outcome of the case, and to reinforce public confidence in the justice system.

“The Court of Appeal expressed the opinion that the case warranted a full reconsideration, and on that basis I advised the Governor-General to refer the case back to the Court for a full appeal.

“It is clear that the case has been thoroughly examined.

"The Ministry of Justice, Sir Thomas Thorp and the Court of Appeal have all independently reached the conclusion that David Bain’s convictions are safe.

"The process has been rigorous and the public can have confidence that justice has been done," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

All Phil Goff’s media releases and speeches are posted at www.beehive.govt.nz

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