Major blow for Bain's compensation claim

Newstalk ZB Staff ,
Publish Date
Thursday, 18 February 2016, 5:26a.m.
(Getty Images)

UPDATED 12.33PM: A major blow for David Bain in his bid to be compensated for wrongful imprisonment.

LISTEN ABOVE: Ian Binnie, who wrote the original report into David Bain's compensation claim, speaks to Mike Hosking

A confidential report by a senior judge has found he does not meet the threshold of innocent beyond reasonable doubt.

The report, by retired Australian judge Ian Callinan QC, has only just been delivered to Justice Minister Amy Adams.

He was asked to advise whether he's satisfied that Mr Bain has proven he's innocent of murder on the balance of probabilities, and if so, whether he's also satisfied Mr Bain has proven he's innocent beyond reasonable doubt.

The NZ Herald understands the judge did not find that he is innocent beyond reasonable doubt — the test for “extraordinary circumstances” required for compensation under previous guidelines.

However, a former head of the Criminal Bar Association is astounded the goalposts have seemingly changed in David Bain's bid for compensation.

Gary Gotlieb told Rachel Smalley that test is nowhere in the Cabinet rules around compensation.

He said someone must prove they're innocent on the balance of probabilities, "and that's a pretty strong test."

There are expected to be different views within the Cabinet as to whether to pay nothing at all, or to explore some avenue that might end further litigation, such as assisting with Mr Bain’s legal fees.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said she will begin considering the new report and the advice she'll take to Cabinet on the claim once all parties have provided any further information they want her to consider.

She won't comment on the status or position of the claim until Cabinet has made its decision.

Otago University's Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere told Leighton Smith as the usual Cabinet guidelines don't apply here, they're essentially working in an ad hoc system solely created to deal with this case.

"There might be pressure to try and create a clear set of guidelines that would encompass this sort of situation in the future. That would be ideal, I think."



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