PM must apologise to acquitted former policeman
Prime Minister must apologise to acquitted former police
11 November 2006
In early 2004, a woman made public allegations of rape against a former police officer. She sent these allegations to the Prime Minister. Within a day, the Prime Minister saw fit to publicly comment on the allegations, saying "Believe me, what was sent to me ...my hair stood on end" . The Prime Minister claimed that the allegations were the "final straw" when she considered the Government's response to other allegations of rape against the police. And despite the fact that the courts had already considered the investigation of the allegations, the Prime Minister was responsible for including the claims into the terms of reference for a commission of Inquiry into police conduct.
On 8 November 2006, the man was acquitted. Through superb investigation the accused man was fortunate to overcome the hurdles of an historical allegation and finding witnesses and evidence that would prove his innocence.
There is no doubt that the case only proceeded because the Prime Minister had become involved and referred the case to the inquiry. As a consequence a man was unnecessarily subjected to a long and arduous emotional ordeal, and to financial ruin.
"The Prime Minister should immediately issue an apology to the man and his family for her political involvement in the case", peterellis.org spokesperson Paula Weir says. "A sincere apology could and should be accompanied by an offer of compensation for the man's expenses".
The Prime Minister and her legal advisors should also be forcefully reminded that truthfulness is not necessarily correlated with how far the hairs on a person's head stand on end.
peterellis.org.nz; "Seeking justice for Peter Ellis and other victims, both past and present, of the New Zealand sex abuse moral panic"