Thursday, 5 March 2015

Teina Pora...a miscarriage of justice...a police stuff up.

The Pora Case…a miscarriage of justice…or an indicator of police stupidity…you decide.

Is this but yet another example of a police operational stuff up and evidence of the police’s inability to ever admit to its obvious blunders and official cover-ups? Is because our police and the many legal people, lawyers etc., which are employed by them, are simply incompetent, poorly trained, poorly supervised and organised?
For the habit of jailing innocent people, falsifying evidence and creating false confessions appears to now be what could only be called an epidemic sized national problem.
This from a reader;

“Over the years I have been astounded at the ham-fisted approach of the police. Arthur Allen Thomas was most likely the best example. What a come down for them when they had to admit to planting the evidence!
David Bain was another. Permission for the family to raze the house was a neat way out of destroying any evidence.
Scott Watson: where the police flatly denied, the Launch-master’s evidence about a two masted boat with a blue stripe in the court.  My view is that guy would know just what he was talking about. Two masts are two masts. Scott’s boat which also had a blue stripe was single mast. Was this another example of how easily they can get out of their depth?
John Barlow: Two trials, two hung Juries. “Keep on trying him boys until we get the verdict we want?” You will note his wife stuck by him through thick and thin. If he was guilty would that have been the case? There was the case where they trumped up charge of rape against David Dougherty only to find three years later the DNA matched someone else Maybe that was an extenuating circumstance. How long had DNA evidence been available?
The ‘Tahoe’ Raid: That went off half-cocked, when they found the Terrorism Legislation was faulty, perhaps not a Police fault but still a bad look”.

My reader was kind enough to leave out a few other cases:

The Kim Dotcom over kill and illegal operation has been well documented and now the absolute shambles of the Teina Pora and Malcolm Rewa relating to the Susan Burnett rape and murder cases…

There was the shocking police behaviour when they closed the ‘Roast Busters’ case because the son of a police officer was involved in the illegal sexual behaviour with under-aged females in Auckland, go to the reference below for more shocking details.

Louise Nicholas:
Then there was the famous or infamous events surrounding the multiple mass rape [s] of Louise Nicholas by top police officers:

Returning to the latest revelations regard police behaviour and low quality investigation skills that revolve around the questioning and confession of Teina Pora gained by police investigative officers. Let’s take a closer look at the Time line relating to this case:

Teina Pora timeline
1992, March 23: Susan Burdett raped and murdered in her home in south Auckland.

1993, March 23: Teina Pora charged with burglary, sexual violation and murder.

1994, June: Pora convicted as a party to the rape and murder on the basis of confessions he made…Sentenced to life in prison.

1996, May: Rewa arrested after attacking a young woman in the inner Auckland suburb of Remuera, DNA from Rewa's father found to match semen from Burdett crime scene.

1998: Rewa eventually convicted of the rape of 27 women, including Ms Burdett but two juries fail to reach a verdict on murder.
1998, May 30: In 1998 Rewa was convicted on multiple sex charges dating back to 1987 and sentenced to preventive detention with a minimum non-parole period of 22 years. He was convicted of the rape of Ms Burdett the following year.

1999: Court of Appeal quashed Pora's convictions as a result of the DNA evidence implicating Rewa and evidence that Rewa acted alone.

2000, June: Pora was again convicted at his retrial, based on his confessions and witnesses, some of whom it later emerged were paid. His appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed.

2009, September: Private investigator and former police detective Tim McKinnel visits Pora in prison and is given permission to make inquiries on Pora's behalf.

2011, September: Pora team file notice of application for the Royal Prerogative of Mercy but two years later are granted an appeal to the Privy Council.

2012, May: Police's criminal profiling expert goes public in Herald with view Pora not involved; Pora's team sue police claiming it is unlawfully withholding evidence, Ms Burdett's brother says Pora is innocent.

2013, February: It is revealed police paid some prosecution witnesses.
2013, August: The Police Association call for an independent inquiry into Pora's convictions.

2014, April: Pora granted parole at his 13th appearance before the board and after spending 21 years in jail.
2014, November: Five-member Privy Council panel hears appeal.

2015, March 3: Privy Council quash convictions.

Serial rapist Malcolm Rewa:

Legal experts say Rewa could stand trial for the murder of Susan Burdett for a "very rare" third time, After 22 years in custody, the Privy Council yesterday upheld Teina Pora's appeal and quashed his convictions for the 1992 rape and murder of Ms Burdett.
The move has opened the possibilities for a retrial of Rewa. In 1996, DNA from semen at the scene linked the attack to Rewa, a serial rapist with a modus operandi of offending alone.

Here are some other references where you can learn more about the case:

Dean of the University of Canterbury's School of Law, Associate Professor Chris Gallavin, said there was "a good chance" that the Attorney-General, on advice of the Solicitor-General, could push for a fresh Rewa murder trial.
"They will be taking a very serious and hard look at the question of the culpability of murder for Rewa. I'd like to think they would've examined this already in some detail," he said.

"What is clear from the Privy Council's opinion is that they have recognised some striking similarities, including the DNA that places him at the scene, and the signature, or trademark, of Rewa offences and the death of Ms Burdett."
Given that the two previous juries were hung on the murder charges, it meant that new evidence would not have to be brought by the Crown.
"Hung juries are different to an acquittal, and you can just start again," he said.
But he suspected Rewa's defence counsel might challenge the move for a third trial, given the length of time that has lapsed.
Dr Gallavin said it was "very rare" to be tried three times on the one charge.
Susan Burdett was brutally raped and murdered in her south Auckland home in 1992. Photo / Supplied
A spokeswoman for the Crown Law Office today said it was "far too early" to say whether Rewa would face a third trial.
"We are reviewing the decision in consultation with the police and family members of the victim as to the issue of a retrial. That's all we can say at this time."
Private investigator Tim McKinnel told Radio New Zealand that he believed a retrial for Rewa was a possible outcome from the Privy Council's decision.
He hinted that there was more to be told about Mr Pora's case that would come out in due time.
"There are a lot of things we want to say in time about this case ... but we really need to be careful at the moment as we take the next step."

Pora in line for $2m compo
Mr Pora could be in line for compensation of around $2 million after his convictions for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett were quashed.
Mr Pora, 39, is today a free man after serving 21 years in prison for a crime the Privy Council found he was wrongly convicted of.
Lord Kerr said while delivering the decision that evidence from two medical experts that Mr Pora suffered from a form of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder - and in their opinion that could explain why he made what is now believed to be false confessions - was a big factor in the outcome.
The board will receive submissions on whether a retrial should be held over the
next four weeks.
Stuart Grieve QC - who was commissioned by the Government to assess David Dougherty's eligibility for compensation after his acquittal in 1997 - said today that Mr Pora could be in line for around $2 million in compensation.
If a retrial is not ordered, or if Mr Pora was acquitted at a retrial, he would be eligible to apply for compensation.
Cabinet guidelines specify around $100,000 for every year spent in custody.
"He's had what a lot of people would say is the best part of his life taken from him," Mr Grieve said.
"He was only 17 when all this happened... he's missed out on an awful lot."
Mr Grieve said other factors such as loss of earnings while in prison could push the figure higher while a person's actions before imprisonment could reduce the final compensation figure.
However, compensation would only be granted if Mr Pora's case made it through "significant hurdles", Mr Grieve said.
"Assume for a moment there is no order for retrial, then Mr Pora crosses that hurdle.
"The next hurdle then is the Queen's Counsel... has to be satisfied that the claimant is innocent on the balance of probabilities."
Mr Grieve said he couldn't predict how long the process could take, but said David Bain's five-year bid for compo was a bad example.
"Certainly compensation on its own after acquittal has taken some time [in Mr Bain's case], that's for sure.
"If there was no order for retrial [of Mr Pora] then I imagine the process could begin relatively quickly."

Mr Bain is seeking compensation for more than a decade he spent in jail after being convicted of the murders of his family in 1994. Advocate Joe Karam told NZME. News Service the process people were forced to go through in a bid for compensation was "absurdly unjust". He said Mr Pora's successful appeal showed New Zealand's criminal justice system needed an overhaul.
"I think we need a public royal commission of inquiry into the criminal justice system in New Zealand so that we don't have these cases happening."
He said a retrial of Mr Pora would be "ridiculous from so many points of view".
Mr Bain was found not guilty at a retrial in 2009. If he is successful in his compensation bid, it is estimated that he could receive a multi-million dollar pay-out.
In 2001, the Government awarded David Dougherty $868,728 in compensation for the three-and-a-half years he spent in jail after being wrongly convicted of abducting and raping an 11-year-old girl.
Mr Grieve said since the compensation was made to Mr Dougherty the Cabinet guidelines had specified $100,000 per annum.

To wind up this blog, it would be safe to say that when the police stuff up many people are forced to pay a price for that stuff up. Many people simply can’t replace the lost years, but what we can do is to put in place processes and procedures that will reduce the chances of massive mistakes being made. In the case of Mr Pora it was only the relentless pursuit of a police officer now an ordinary citizen who was convinced that Pora was innocent and was being railroaded into a confession. He and others stood by Pora, and we should thank God they did. We of course don’t know how many innocent people have been railroaded into doubtful confessions, refused genuine legal presentations, told lies to or misled in various ways. We would like to think that we can trust our police men and women to do the right thing. And the right thing is not to cover-up police shady behaviour, not to pretend that all is well went it isn’t, the police need to firstly ‘know the law’ secondly obey the law, and speak out when they know the law is being broken of ignored. If they had of done that then many, yes many individuals would have moved down a different path.

If I was a policeman and played some part in steam-rolling the Teina Pora case I would seriously consider departing the policing scene. Having a backbone and some ‘guts’ to speak up could have seen a different outcome in both the Tahoe Raid episode and the Kim Dotcom attack by the boys in blue dressed up like soldiers pretending they were in Iraq or Afghanistan or New York or even Israel and in all the other cases in this blog.

Let’s hope for better days, better behaviour and a little bit of community heart and a little less unenlightened and shameful behaviour for one that leads to clear and lasting hope for those who want to have faith in our very politically controlled justice system.  


Anonymous said...

I see there's already talk of Pora Pora competing in a promotional boxing match. If, as claimed, his young life was destroyed by violence, why would you start your second chance at life . . . . with violence?

Wheeler's Corner NZ said...

I did not think it would take long to have some one comment on Teina Pora's media generated boxing item...but I would have thought the Anonymous writer could have at least got his name correct is that because Teina Pora is a Maori...Remember it was the state who turned him into a criminal because of shocking police investigations and a confession that heaps of cops thought was wrong...