Bain Defenceless As Lawyers Halt Work On Case
Multiple Murder Accused David Bain Defenceless As Lawyers Halt Work On Case
David Bain Lawyers Down Tools Over Lack Of Legal Aid Resources
LawFuel – Legal Jobs & Legal News Daily - David Bain’s legal team have temporarily ceased working on their client’s forthcoming multiple murder trial pending the provision of satisfactory resources for their defense of Bain.
The retrial is scheduled for retrial in May 2008, following the Privy Council’s quashing of the previous convictions in May 2007, at an as yet undecided venue and is likely to last up to three months.
Lead lawyer, Michael Reed QC, told LawFuel.com “we have temporarily withdrawn our services pending proper resources being made available to us.”
Mr Reed, who is working on the case along with Helen Cull QC, Paul Morton and long-time Bain supporter Joe Karam, said the team are facing a formidable task with the full resources of the state leveled against them.
He said the prosecution have 25 dedicated detectives working on the case, along with usual police resources in Dunedin. Additionally, there are three separate legal teams working, including Auckland’s senior prosecutor Kieran Raftery from Meredith Connell, Dunedin’s crown prosecutor Robin Bates and deputy Solicitor General Cameron Mander.
“There are also research counsel, administration backup staff and other resources,” Mr Reed said. The case is massively bigger than the original trial twelve year’s ago, with 100,000 pages of evidence, an additional 50 Crown witnesses and the defense will be calling 60 to 80 witnesses compared to a small handful in the original trial.
“The evidence alone would take over 40 weeks to read at a minute a page,” he said.
“We don’t have anywhere to store the documents and we’ve been refused a junior lawyer to help,” Mr Reed said.
He indicated that the defense had made 15 separate applications for legal aid at an unremunerated time spent of over 100 hours’ work. Separate applications are required to deal with individual submissions and applications to the judge. He estimates the total cost of the trial at between $10 million and $15 million.
“The Privy Council said it may not be in the public interest to have a retrial. That’s something worth thinking about.”
In the meantime the defense team have had no alternative but to withhold further work on the case, he said.