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Child Abuse Right To Silence Should Be Dumped

MEDIA RELEASE
19 November 2009

Child Abuse Right To Silence Should Be Dumped

Family First NZ is calling for laws surrounding the right to silence for families suspected of child abuse to be dumped.

Its call comes after the deaths of Christchurch seven-month-old Staranise Waru and currently before the Coroner, and the death of the Kahui twins, both occurring in 2006.

“It has taken almost four years for the Coroner’s inquest into the Waru case and we are still waiting on the Kahui twins inquest to be heard,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“The police acknowledge that the closing of ranks by the families and the ‘right to silence’ and refusal to be interviewed has stonewalled both these investigations. The Kahui family has been referred to as the ‘tight 12’. Yet we now have three victims of child abuse screaming for justice and nobody held to account.”

“The police even had to resort to bugging the home of the parents of 11-week old Tahani Mahomed from South Auckland in order to deliver justice.”

“The rights of victims to justice and the urgent need for offenders to be held accountable far outweighs the right to silence and other privileges that families may seek to use to mask their guilt or involvement,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“The laws should be changed to reflect this priority.”

ENDS

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