Sunday, August 26, 2012

Juries can't cope?

The headline implies that juries are ‘sub-par’, whereas in fact what the people quoted say is that it’s public perception that they are sub-par because of their make-up, and it’s that perception that is undermining the public trust in justice. The article’s headline is in effect feeding that mistrust. Decent journalism would look at whether there is in fact any reason to think that these juries are ‘sub-par’ and whether they get the verdicts wrong. In the MacDonald case, there certainly can’t be any tenable suggestion that they ‘got it wrong’. What is at fault here is not the juries, it’s the trial system where truth has become secondary to the game between the lawyers.

The above is a link sent to me along with comments about the linked article published today. I totally agree with the correspondent's comments. In fact, sorry to say, I saw the article and moved on after having only a quick look at it, seeing the MacDonald case,  the public poll mentioned, and mistakenly considered it was an simply another attack on Juries - the impression raised by the headline. Putting the obviously correct conclusions mentioned by the comments above to one side, and since having read the article clearly - I think there are a couple of other issues that show a worrying perception as to the value Jurors bring. There are three types mentioned, the professionals - along with the claim that they are being too easily excused, the elderly, and the unemployed.

I need to express concern with the idea of professional jurors and so forth, or the need for professionals to serve on the jury as some kind of necessity. That is the perception, that a Jury  led by the use of 'professionals' as somehow part of an 'elite,'  would be best able to contribute to just decisions in complicated or lengthy cases, indeed any type of case. Noting that Ewen McDonald's case was 'mentioned' I think the very core of the idea of Juries has been that they are to be made up of people from across the board, with experiences across the board. A professional person from Christchurch doesn't bring with his or herself some special formula raised from the fact they are professional person rather than a tradesman, however they may bring insights or points of discussion different from those of the trades person - both of which contribute to the make up of a sound Jury well capable of doing its job. Similarly, is a 50 year old man, made recently redundant and therefore unemployed unable to contribute from their own life experiences? Of course he is, and those experiences may well be more in depth and complex compared to the 31 year old professional who may well be considered a late 'maturer' by his workmates or family. Its the very essence of a Jury from all walks of life and differing ages that gives it the optimum chance of delivering a just verdict, again the original design considered hundreds of years ago.

On the same note what 'deficiency' is expected of a 67 year old woman who may had a professional career, or another being a housewife who raised 5 children, or the 62 year old that retired early because of poor health, lifestyle choice, or because they'd been able to do so because of a successful occupation - all of whom could be described, as in the article, as 'elderly' or 'unemployed.' I think the article drove at key issues that could also undermine any Jury that wasn't seen as relatively youthful, employed, and professional. A dock side worker may somehow understand a little more about the consequences of an altercation that led to a street brawl, and possibly a death, than perhaps a person who is anti rugby because they believe it is a violent sport. It is exactly those differences, added to age, type of employment, experience or retirement that are fundamental in representing the public or in other language comprise a group of 12 who are ostensibly the 'peers' of an accused and the public in general.

I can say from some experience it is very hard to have staff excused from Jury service, and the type of staff I'm talking about are not well educated, but equally not unworldly having come down in the last shower. I think the article headline and some of the 'professional' comments are equally disturbing and alienating from the idea of what a jury should comprise - normal everyday people who lead normal every day lives, perhaps working, perhaps not but each with their own unique experiences, tasked with common sense to decide on the facts guilt or innocence beyond reasonable doubt.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kent Parker: Can he escape his own trap.

Foresight wouldn't be one of Kent's strong suits, well not cleverly applied foresight able to predict consequences and likely events. He operates more with the fundamental belief of getting people to accept something and not worry that they'll eventually see through the pretence. To that end he must have the right sort of people around him, those that believe blindly, but more importantly, those prepared to 'believe' again once Kent has invariable found himself out.

On the 18th of July this year, Kent under pressure, told the High Court in Auckland he would be retaining Counsel in the next few days. This was in response to the Court wishing to schedule and time-table a trial. He indicated that not only would he retain advice, but also counsel to act on his behalf. After many delays, and attempted side-steps, Kent Parker finally accepted that he needed representation. This of course despite him having regarded himself as an expert on defamation, along with earlier claiming that he had an expert defamation lawyer advising and assisting him. Like everything with Kent, what he first set out was far from the truth, even now,  when cornered into agreeing that he would retain a lawyer, who could have any confidence that he will?

That isn't the only problem. It would be a fair bet that if Kent were to commission a lawyer there is no guarantee that the lawyer will be more willing to do anything other than advise Kent to settle if he can. Advise him to look to mitigate his circumstances by repeating the admissions of Parker on the 18th of July that he,  Kent Parker, didn't really know what he was doing. Of course ignorance of the Law is no defence and straight out ignorance even less so. Thus far, with the way the cards have fallen to impact on Kent, Vic and the follower big mouths, all the boasts and derision - ignorance is shaping up as probably the only option. The Court have allowed Vic and Kent a little leeway because of their obvious problems. However, any lawyer acting for them will have no such luxury or even be inclined to seek the Court to entertain such stupidity as one that words have various meanings.  Equalling, therefore, that the various meanings Joe might have taken from being called a crook, a nazi, knowing David was guilty etc, clearly don't have only the obvious meanings but rather ones the defendants are still searching to find..

I expect Kent is already at work trying to overcome the hurdles he set himself. The first is a beaut, trying to prove that he's not really an idiot even though he has more or less admitted that to the Court as he tried to find a way out of his predicament. A wiser idiot than Kent might realise he is better just to accept the fact that everybody thinks he is an idiot anyway, so he has nothing to gain or lose in the idiot stakes. That would be a simpler choice for Kent and a simpler situation to accept for the lawyer. The lawyer would not then need to listen to a whole lot of crap and Kent's various interpretations of why he hasn't been defamatory of Karam. That he was in fact speaking the truth, or a version of it which was betrayed by people not looking behind the complexity of words, such as fraudulent, to accept that saying someone is fraudulent can possibly be construed as something other than an allegation that they're a crook.

Boy, he's got his work cut out. I mean the lawyer - trying to make some sense of anything that Kent has said that might have a legitimate defence. So I have my doubts that any lawyer will want to take the case on unless Kent is able to use some common sense and accept the obvious inevitable conclusion - that he defamed Joe Karam personally, and was the publisher of other defamatory claims. But if that can't be achieved,  or if he simply can't find a lawyer prepared to support the hopeless defence already filed? My suggestion is that if he can't, he'd better be able to furnish good proof that he made a legitimate effort to do so or the Court might find him In Contempt. and off to gaol he goes.

Everybody is entitled to a defence, but not entitled to indulgences for things that on one hand could be called bizarre, while on the other simply been seen as having a go in a manner which is Contempt of due process. No body made Kent Parker say the things he did, nobody made Kent Parker publish defamatory comment of others - it was all his own free will, attended at the time with the bravado - that Karam wouldn't dare sue, because Kent and the other dick heads had proof of their claims, or that it was honestly held opinion that might be held by a reasonable person on reasonable grounds. So a line has to be drawn, the case has to get down to business and be pushed on whether the defendants are moon bats or not.

So far there have been lots of stories inside stories with Kent Parker and the hate-siters, this is another interesting one from my point of view. Karam has done everything possible to get this case to trial while Parker has done exactly the opposite. Now however, Kent is beholding to an undertaking he gave the Court. His credibility is on the line, is he fact a reasonable man that got diverted by ignorance of the law whilst being jollied along by a bunch of nutters and broom flyers? Or is he somebody who holds the Court in Contempt and is willing to demonstrate so once again? We should know the answer to that by 19th September if not sooner.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Something else Kent Parker and the hate-siters got wrong.

From a correspondent with my comments to follow:

You know how Kent and his mob made big play of how Robin couldn’t have suicide because he didn’t remove his hat, and suicides don't remove clothing and ‘bare’ the target?
Well, needless to say they got that wrong too. There is a new study looking at that stuff, and it founds that where clothing is removed, it tends to be suicide, but that the converse (that if it’s suicide clothing is not removed) is definitely NOT true.

Shooting Through Clothing in Firearm Suicides
  1. Petr Hejna M.D., Ph.D.,
  2. Miroslav Ĺ afr M.D.
Article first published online: 25 FEB 2010
DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01326.x
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume 55, Issue 3, pages 652–654, May 2010
Abstract:  There is a longstanding empirical rule that people who commit suicide rarely shoot through their clothing, but rather put it aside to expose the nude skin. Signs of shots through clothing have always been considered suspicious, raising presumptions of the presence of an abettor. Our report, based on a retrospective study of fatal suicidal firearm injuries from the years 1980 to 2007, points out that suicide victims only rarely remove clothing from the site of the future entry wound. The report covered 43 cases with fatal gunshot wounds in the area of the thorax, with only four persons (9%) removing the clothing present in the area of the subsequent self-inflicted wound. Defects present on the clothing of a victim cannot, therefore, be understood as an absolute criterion for disproving the possibility of suicide, and nor do they necessarily indicate an unfortunate accident or homicide. If, however, the suicide victim removes the clothing from the area of the future wound, then this is almost always an indication of suicide.

First of there is plenty of other material available which distinguish between murders and suicide that indicate a person committing suicide will remove clothing, a hat, open a shirt and so on, but that a suspected suicide is not one where the suicide has shot him or herself through clothing. Another extreme of this is the suicide by knife by the Japanese, the knives are certainly sharp enough to slice through flimsy clothing but it is still removed. I think I may have entered some such material a couple of years ago on here, if not I certainly read about it around that time.

Robin 'lifting his beanie' to shoot himself struck as a great difficulty for my contemporary, the venerable weatherman, fly maker and fly fisherman Lee Hinkleman. I use the word contemporary with licence of course because Lee was deeply versed with understanding about the Bain case from the outset and admit my only contemporary status with Lee was that we both teased the heck out of the googly eyed hate-siters. Lee often recalled that when he heard on the radio that a paper boy had allegedly used his paper run as an alibi for a murder he thought it was an enormous joke. Likewise he considered that Robin 'lifting his beanie' so that David might shoot him without damaging the hat was equally absurd. Obviously investigating police didn't, then again they thought incest was irrelevant to the inquiry as was investigating Robin as a suspect. Likewise with the same short-sightedness of the police, along with an enormous blood lust the hate-siters,  they clearly thought it was perfectly reasonable for Robin to have co-operated in his own death, or that David when despatching him to the here-after was mindful not to get a hole in Robin's hat. Very considerate - if you're enough of a moron to believe it.

I never accepted anything that Lee Hinkleman or any one else said about the Bain case without having a good think about. This was particularly so because when the hate-siters saw that I was an un-decided in the beginning, and therefore might join their hate-campaign, they told me 'facts' which later proved to be lies. Common sense presumes that somebody with facts isn't a liar, has researched or has good proof of what they say. But I have to repeat that Robin raising his beanie to co-operate in this way didn't move me an inch toward thinking his death wasn't suicide. As well I realised that the paper run alibi concept was totally flawed. No one goes on a paper run, delivering papers in all the paper boxes as required but indulges in doing things he wouldn't normally do on the round to bring attention to himself - when the papers in the box were absolute proof that they had been delivered. I've written about this before, it's a very common aspect of Miscarriages of Justice, police offer an explanation that makes no sense, David seeking to be seen on his paper round made no sense and showed how either thick the investigating police were or how gullible they thought the public of New Zealand are.

The same applies to the beanie hat, it's inconceivable that any legitimate inquiry into Robin's alleged murder could hold water with the fact that he had to have co-operated in his own death. The hat simply proves his suicide and all the surrounding evidence supports that. Looking also at the convenience factor, we need to remember that Laniet was also co-operating in her own murder and the escape from punishment of her killer because she was giving David  an alibi (her allegations of incest - causing suspicion upon Robin) years before her own death. So again we see how much the police expected a gullible public to swallow.

Thinking about writing this I recalled observation in Joe Karam's 2012 book Trial by Ambush, where is disclosed that Dr Dempster's (the man whose first reaction  as the pathologist for police was that Robin's death was suicide) boss, Dr Dwynne, was troubled for years that the young man, David Bain, had been able to commit the perfect murder that so readily implicated his father by the appearance of the suicide being perfectly matched to the evidence. Of course now we know why he was so troubled, and Dempster too who later put his concerns in writing. Those were only some of the aspects of the case that were troubling, all of which were overlooked by police when charging David and fighting him tooth and nail for over a decade for his rightful freedom.

The sea chest is replete with proof of David's innocence and with the facts that he should never have been charged, showing that he had his words twisted by bent cops and rotten hate-siters, proving he should never have been asked to answer questions he couldn't possibly know the answers and leave them hanging over his head as though proving guilt. On the other hand the war chest of the police, Crown and hate-siters echoes from emptiness - even the writing of the major media campaigner against  David, van Beynan, has no words left to grab headlines in order that his reputation might be recovered or that some last arrows of hate might fall in the final pages of the persecution of David Bain.

Leaving this for now, I'm reminded of how odd life can be, how fate can be created by ignorance and hate, how but lone voices such as Lee Hinkleman who scoffed at the paper run alibi and the lifted beanie, others who supported David because they knew him and loved him can't be suppressed under all the weight of evil. I'll tip my hat to that.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

High Noon: Hunter calls out Hutton.

Look at this:

Investigative journalist Keith Hunter has put up a million dollar home to support his honestly held belief that the former Chief Inspector Bruce Hutton is a crook. Not just any crook but one of those instrumental in deliberately framing Arthur Allan Thomas, causing him to spend a decade in prison for a crime he didn't commit, bringing grave harm upon himself, his family and his late wife Vivian Harrison.

As you will read in the link Hunter invites Hutton to sue him in a tone if not of contempt then barely shielded from outright mockery. There would be few in New Zealand acquainted with the Crewe case that don't remain anxious that the case is put to rest by having the crooked cops, that survive, charged. The article reveals more however, the deliberate efforts by modern day police to slow down progress and dull it into inertia that has largely existed for thirty years. I shouldn't be surprised but I was to read that the modern day police are as entrenched in their attitudes about the Crewe case as their disgraced predecessors, including Hutton, were. Of other interest to me is Bryan Bruce, whoever may have read it will have seen I pushed the idea after Bruce's recent tv show on the Crewe case for material to be released to him, Hunter and Birt from the police files, in fact the entire files. My position was deliberate, not because I accepted that Bruce had,  could, or would develop the case if he had access to the files, but that however Birt and Hunter surely would.

Until I read the piece above it was apparent to me that Bruce's show seems to have had a benefactor of sorts in being made, was rushed, and probably in response to the recent book by Hunter to which his article above refers. That 'benefactor' in some form was driven by interests of the police to keep the case suppressed as much as possible. Bruce may have made dramatic demands for evidence, as is his style, but the substance of the show was apparently contrary to that, and likely deliberately so. Bryan Bruce comes across as clouding the waters in a way that benefits police but not in a way that benefits the public interest.

Overall there is the uncomfortable feeling that there are too many players advocating having the case re-opened and Bruce is certainly the odd man out. For one thing the Bain case show he did displayed that he can appear as a police apologist and the evidence is that he was essentially doing the same in his expose of the Crewe case. It's not cynical to say that his bread is buttered by the police, he, is an 'inside' man as the Bain documentary, and the more recent Crewe  documentary appear to show. (A passing salute to Ash the once Trade Me poster who coined the phrase mockumentary in response to watching the Bain show by Bruce.)

Bruce however is not the point here, he is merely somebody benefiting from the case. Hunter and Birt are in a different situation even though it seems there are some differences between the two, certainly they're honest, forthright investigators of high calibre. But we see the apparently vice like lock on this case from the Commissioner down, there is everything to benefit from this case being re-opened or at least the files made available to Hunter and Birt. The Minister is failing in her duty with this case, absolutely failing.

Will Hutton accept Keith Hunter's challenge, certainly not. It occurs to me that it is very obvious that Hunter has lost book sales as the result of the alleged threat to sue, a provable loss. I think Keith Hunter should consider suing the Herald for pulling the article and include Hutton as a defendant as well. The immediate difficulty that appears for Hunter bringing a case against the Herald is that they exercised a right not to publish, and were not necessarily bound to publish. I think that could be circumvented by arguing that a contract had been formed and they broke it and in doing so knew there was to be anticipated a loss in book sales for Hunter's new book. Hutton situation would be equally clear of even more so in terms of the loss - he said he would sue thereby causing the Herald to reconsider publication. His problem is that he hasn't sued and no doubt never intended to do so, all he intended to do was preserve his 'good' name at a cost to Hunter. I think the Herald would settle in some way, maybe running the article under a heading of that they were threatened not to publish. On the other hand Mr Hunter could possibly push in the Courts for disclosure of the Police files, contacts relating to information past between Bruce, Hutton and present day police hieracy and their agents. In short get the information under Court Order of discovery. Discover if present day police were involved in the shut down of the Herald article in anyway, view all correspondence of letters, phone conversation memos and so forth - in the process finding out exactly what the public have wanted to know for 30 years.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ewen MacDonald: The worm turns.

Probably the single event of the unfolding story  is the point when there was a clash in the dialogue of the case against Ewen MacDonald was on the day he was acquitted. Kylee Guy ran from the courts with an entourage to a car waiting outside screaming that EM had killed her late husband. Until that point she had been mostly tearful, and by my impression, paraded before the Jury many times in order to raise sympathy for her and animosity toward EM. Much earlier I actually questioned whether it was a trial of 'dramatic effect' relying on something other than evidence to gain a conviction.

Thing is Kylee doesn't know the truth of who killed her husband and she may long ago have been influenced by learning of the attack against her home by EM and Boe, or by being told that the police had foot print evidence that proved EM was the killer. If there was something she was holding back we would have known before now. What we know is that Kylee has left the farm, relinquished her share in some way, has a media manager and an internet site in the 3 years since her husband Guy was shot and killed on the driveway outside their home. Just on that departure from Court, that was clearly choreographed, attendants in a huddle around her limousine waiting by the side walk cameras at the ready. Whether the 'demonstration' was for the waiting media can only be speculated upon but the message seemed to be to them.

Callum Boe's lawyer told the Court at the time of his sentencing that a defining moment in the relationship with Ewen was when they attacked 19 bobby calves with a ball pein hammer. Up to that time Callum obviously hadn't considered poaching prize deer off neighbouring farms, carrying their heads away as trophies was anything more than a general evening past time. It was at that point, the lawyer said, that Boe had realised, having help kill the calves, 'that MacDonald was capable of doing anything.' Then he became afraid of him. A watershed moment, for the young farmer to feel empathy with one kind of dead animal but not another. In context it may have been exactly the line police had hoped Callum Boe could be encouraged to tell the jury. We don't know why Callum Boe didn't give evidence but there are indications that he got a relatively light sentence, co-operated with the police and there was some anticipation that he would give 'dramatic' evidence against EM, not about the charges he faced but about how evil EM was. Of course that was a 'conditional' evil and nothing to do with the murder other than by drawing a long bow. The person who was going to reveal EM's evilness was his long term mate, confidant and partner in poaching missions and revenge attacks. Not quite the Minister's son from the local church.

I'd say that statement was going to go into evidence at EM's trial if the Court had allowed it so I wonder why it is released to the public now when the case is before the High Court. I think that is because the picture drawn of this case never mirrored a crime of murder but provision of hope that it might do so if attended by enough unsettling diversions. That statement would have been wrung for every small drop of it's worth. The prosecutor would have hammered it home in order to overcome the lack of evidence against MacDonald. It would have been another dramatic piece, Callum Boe no doubt brought through a side door and surrounded by police to heighten the effect - the good bad guy, entering the Court suddenly fearful of his mate of many years. Evidence of murder, no. Kylee Guy announcing that she 'knew' that EM had killed her husband, evidence, no.

Well, the worm has turned or will be turning for many. The country seldom if ever has had a murder case of this type before. Not in the time of the internet anyway. We've never seen victim's families commission media management or launch appeals for money for themselves. It's new territory and takes a little getting use to. Whereas there has normally been a natural, kiwi-type, circumspection to be reserved and not look too closely or comment upon publicly it seems that there has been a type of invitation into the world of the families concerned that will continue to fire opinion for years, maybe longer. I think that is unfortunate, something like the floodgates being opened not in anticipation that flooding will go further than was intended or calculated, effect others, and maybe never stop.

Look back for a minute at the 'style' and substance of the trial, the 'props' deliberately placed to make it one of high theatre rather than of serious and emotionless control that one assumes should attends such a grave matter. That wasn't Kylee Guy's choice, or that of her mother and fathers-in-law, that was a tactic and style introduced to substitute for evidence that didn't exist. I've seen else where some of the original Bain hate-siters reforming their witch patrols, grasping at single words to concoct a campaign against Ewen MacDonald. Yet again they're the puppets to another kind of control, one of rumour, and being 'all knowing and informed.' By who, one might ask. The answer is by the Crown that brought a case that didn't exist and attended it with a reality tv type drama, who had 'evidence' from a stalker and thief that EM wasn't a nice man even though that had been laid on thick at the trial. Has there been any benefit? I don't think so because we've lurched toward trial by dramatic turn, 'public jury' decisions by on-line polls. Criticism of the Courts and the Law. For what, for a family that still has no answers and children to grow.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ewen MacDonald: The torment.

I think it would have to be admitted that the torment over EM's aquittal continues. The Herald has had the Court file released to it and to this point they've only found some evidence that was withheld  alleging what Scott Guy had told his sister one day when he was possibly drunk and stoned. Greg King, EM's senior counsel, argued that the value of the evidence was not greater than the potential harm of the analysis of Scott's behaviour that day.

It must be frustration that keeps the debate alive as though some where, some how there is something to discover which will prove the theory that Ewen was guilty of the murder after all, and that the discovery will be encapsulated in some form that will show how truly inefficient our system of Justice, lawyers or Judges are. In reality the only thing that would make any differences is some evidence which to this point doesn't exist, if it exists at all. That's why a not guilty verdict was returned. A not guilty verdict wasn't returned because Mac Donald is a poacher, an arsonist and so on, in fact the Jury already knew that he was. Clearly the didn't know that he and an accomplice killed 30 bobby calves and drained 1000s of litres of milk waiting to be taken off a neighbour's farm. There has been apparent outrage about this newer information none of which has taken the failed case against EM as step further. Animals are being poached, slaughtered in freezing works in 1000s across New Zealand every day. No doubt acts of vandalism are taking place at the moment.

Looking at the situation another way Callum Boe the accomplice in some, perhaps all of these acts, has been released from prison after 12 months of a 2 year sentence. Already EM, who has pleaded guilty to the charges, has served around 2 years on remand, consequently he may not be required to serve any extra time. No doubt the details of Callum Boe's sentence will be scrutinised and put into context when Ewen is sentenced in the High Court. The High Court is obliged not to note anything about the failed murder charges other than the time spent in custody. Some could argue that isn't fair on the basis that EM had been charged with a murder and the Jury didn't know that he was an arsonist, a poacher and vandal - well of course they did. I would probably argue that the case against MacDonald in other circumstances (were he not facing other charges) could have resulted in him being on bail from the outset of the murder charge being laid. Of course by his own hand he has lost his marriage and the chance to live as a family with his children.

It's fair to say that EM might never have faced the other, historical, charges had Scott Guy not been killed. They may simply have been relegated to thick files along with 1000s of other unsolved crimes in the district. Certainly it can be argued that a more circumspect review of the prosecution case may have led to a decision not to lay charges. Of course the police did lay charges in a bit of a rush when it probably anticipated that other evidence would surface to go with the admission of EM of the charges he and Boe would face - a premature decision to say the least. Of course to this point the only forensic against EM, the footprint from a size 9 dive boot ultimately exculpated EM from the crime scene. Leaving the critical question of if the footprint tipped the decision to prosecute a weak case then isn't the situation that police, obviously, prosecuted the case on the basis of evidence that didn't exist against Mac Donald. This seems to me to be getting nearer the truth of the trial of EM.

The cries to change the system overlook not only that the Jury (something I didn't agree with) were allowed to know about EM's 'character' in terms of the poaching etc, but also the fact that it was a weak case that had to rely on what I believe to be prejudicial evidence of EM's character. Some will argue against that. However, it is not EM who was responsible for finding evidence against himself even though the police clearly wanted to charge him. Nor was he responsible that further evidence didn't fall out of the cupboard to support his guilt. So in some ways EM is punished because he isn't guilty of the murder whereas some of the public want him punished because of that lack of proof, relying on the 'fact' that he is guilty of other crimes.

What's happening out there? Suddenly people must be guilty of crimes for which there is no proof of guilt. Looking at it another way, EM had he been the killer with all the falling out of the cupboard evidence to prove it, there is serious doubt that the Crown would have sought to have details of the other charges admitted into the trial or that the Judge would have allowed that to be the case. As we proceed toward sentencing there are some issues of particular interest to me, for example did EM ever act alone on any of these missions, did the missions in fact stop when Callum Boe left the scene - these facts, if they are revealed, will tell us more than endless speculation about the system and what's might be wrong with it - merely because it in fact worked despite being loaded with a bias against an accused person.

Footnote added  9/8/12

It is now revealed that Callum Boe was a co-offender of EM on all six charges he is waiting for sentence on. Probably fair to say by this that EM appears never to have offended other than in the company of Callum Boe or since Boe left the scene. Probably understandably Boe mitigated his position at sentencing by blaming
EM. He particular comments about the slain calves claiming that this 'changed' his opinion of EM although he freely took part. Else where in the script he refers to 'we,' clearly accepting that his participation was obviously on his own free will and that some of the attacks were for 'revenge.' Still no impression provided other that the Jury reached the right verdict in the murder trial.

Monday, August 6, 2012

What's gone wrong in South Auckland - 3 strikes?

Before looking at the above case involving Nathan Williams who it seems plainly was set up for false imprisonment by a known con, and a compliant police inquiry, I think there is a need to look at South Auckland and where it now appears to fit on the map.

Not geographically but in the national consciousness. Has the rest of NZ turned it's back on Southern Auckland, seeing it as cot case surrendered into the grip of crime. Well South Auckland is actually the heartland of a lot of heavy industry, a port and distribution centre for the rest of New Zealand, commercial property prices are high and it is well linked by motorways and to the airport. Around its edges to the east and the south in particular there are some good housing developments continuing that contrast with what the national view of the area might be. It is not the homeland of crooks, it's a thriving and generous community in most cases that has had a relatively high crime rate reduced through good current police and community initiatives. It's the new workplace of Willie Apiata, the home town of Owen Glenn one of our most successful business man. Home of John Walker, Dick Quax and other Olympic and sporting greats. It's in the areas of Mangere, home town of David Tua, Alfriston and Manurewa, pockets of low cost housing, much of it Government owned, almost dreary in repetition and apparent cheapness, third world style shopping centres, booze outlets scattered among the many churches which would have the highest attendances on any comparable area in NZ, possibly the world. It's a mixture of hard-working people and the desperate, no where in NZ would the income gap be so distinct. It must also by now be one of the largest accumulation of voters and by that reason alone politically important. But it surely is more important for other reasons, it's population will be the engine house of our economy far into the future. South Auckland could be determined as the place that when going well indicates the country is going well. If South Auckland is looked after, cultivated, the soul of New Zealand is also. No man, woman or child that lives there is less important than the person or people addressing the future of this country. What South Auckland suffers we all suffer, what South Auckland triumphs over we all triumph over.

The greatest distinction of South Auckland lies in the origins of recent immigrants from the Pacific Islands joining 2 and 3rd generation Maori who drifted to the cities in the 50s and 60s pushing the farming land further from the heart of the city. Both these groups suffer a cultural isolation of sorts but it seems the Pacific Islanders are largely able to maintain their culture if still being crippled to some extent by more sedentary lifestyles and diet choices. The biggest epidemic would be in the areas of health, fast loans, fast food, pokies and welfare mentality, not the popularly considered crime. Though it's something else that makes the case of Nathan Williams stand out - because it's one of 3 unsolved murders on the books of South Auckland Police where innocent men have been sent to prison. The question to ask is how can 3 such cases of injustice, rare as they mainly be, have accumulated in one part of the country? Ian Steward has brilliantly demonstrated the Miscarriage of Justice which happened to Nathan Williams in the piece called 'Only-a-pawn-in-the-game,' a title that may be more broad reaching that Steward perhaps intended. What game is being played in South Auckland and why do the rules that apply elsewhere as to the treatment of citizens not apply there?

It's convenient for the police and Justice Department to isolate this case which has drawn little attention. Most of the country wouldn't have known about Nathan Willliams until yesterday and not given it much thought since. Maori, South Auckland, turn the page - but that's perhaps what is wrong, no outrage or concern that 3 major cases have shown themselves distorted by police inquiry and the reaction from the Courts in one part of the country, and none apparently resolved. Teina Pora remains in prison 20 years after trying to falsely claim a reward for an unsolved murder and rape, in the process talked himself into being convicted for the crime which in all probability was committed by Malcom Rewa a serial rapist whose dna was found inside the victim. Malcom Rewa will probably never be released from prison, there is no reliable evidence that he even knew the boy, as he then was, Teina Pora, a supporter of a rival gang to that which the much older Rewa belonged. The same Teina Pora, when helping the police in order to gain the reward, couldn't even find the street or the house where the deceased woman had been killed. So maybe the killer Rewa is in prison albeit for other crimes but so is Pora in prison for having a low intellect and being a liar. Crime solved, I don't think so.

Then we have Alan Hall, quiet, modest height, slow minded, reliable and non-violent European that morphed into a youthful Maori or Polynesian one night and  stabbed a man to death in his own home, fighting with both the man and his sons who injured 'Alan' before he ran away and returned to being a middle-aged pakeha, small, slow minded and without any injury. Alan served around a decade for that crime while the real killer, tall, dark and athletic was never found. Solved, no.

The situation Nathan Williams found himself in was that a convicted robber recently released from prison for permanently disabling a man during a robbery, went onto kill a drug dealing youth at his own home by striking him with a hammer. He then coughed to police that Nathan Williams was the killer. The two men went to trial together and the statement of Tumata, a not so plausible ex con, was read to the Jury as evidence against himself, while the Jury were told by the Judge to put it out of their minds. That included the fact that the statement was videoed, pointed the entire blame at Williams and was unable to be questioned in the normal way had it been direct evidence and not un-contestable hearsay. There was also one of Tumata's mates who claimed that Williams had 'confessed.' When Nathan called in a QC David Jones, the lawyer understood from the outset the perilous video and other evidence couldn't have been trusted to have been put from the jury's mind and the Court of Appeal agreed. When the Jury returned a verdict  at the retrial the Judge said 'Mr Williams, your nightmare is over. You are discharged.'

I'm sure the Judge felt some pleasure and relief that the system, with the strong help of QC Jones, had ultimately worked. Well at least to some degree, and in this case had only taken around 5 years, add that to the 30 plus combined years spent inside by first of all Hall and Teina Pora who is still clocking up the years and the reason for celebration becomes a little muted, more so when police indicate they are not looking for anyone else in Nathan's case just the same as the other two cases. I don't where that leaves the families of the victims, certainly the police make no comment on that. I wonder where it leaves the wider population of NZ, able to accept men from South Auckland serving false imprisonment - not so bothered perhaps? Maybe that is the attitude that builds walls within our society, we can imagine only bad things happen in South Auckland and it's the fault of the natives that live there, relegate them all somehow into a convenient picture able to be accepted as really not quite NZ or NZers. It could be that type of thinking that sees cases like that of Hall, Pora and Williams happen in the first place where police seek the co-operation of the real crooks or simply just ignore them in favour of a lame duck target. The police unwittingly unable to see that we all become lame duck targets, fence by fence, street by street, border by border. We have a Commissioner of Police, a Minister of Police, and a Prime Minister why are they silent, why do they lead with silence, why are they not offended by this situation? If it's not right in South Auckland it's not right in New Zealand.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Kent Parker: now he's leaking.

Some will remember the recent press leak proclaiming that Karam had to release details of the legal aid he had received. On closer scrutiny of course the ordered  disclosure was for the amount of legal aid granted, not the details. That amount was already on the public record so one could say that the victory was similar to  Parker  wanting to release material that proved he was a moron but the Court ruled that there was need because it was on the public record. But who can deny Kent just a little bit of breathing room, at least now he can say the amount on the public record is exactly the same as the amount to be disclosed, small things can be greatly appreciated by very small minds which possibly explains why Kent likes to make car noises, interspersed with the sound of indicators as he walks about the High Court vroom, vroom, indeed.

Perhaps concentrating on that is the reason he forgot to turn the leaking tap off because that leak has spread all the way to yours truly and while I shouldn't be naughty and read the details, or share them, I just can't help myself. Firstly, I was fairly angry with the situation  as it is revealed in the judgement but I have been counselled not to be upset by the antics of a mad man. Of course this case will largely pay it's own way, assuming Kent is able to do so because he's sunk without even bubbles tracing on the surface.

The reasons for my disquiet is that Parker and Purkiss were ordered to make certain disclosures but did not obey. In the normal course of events one would be entitled to the belief that they were showing contempt of the Court. Particularly so, because they later pleaded ignorance of what was expected of them yet they had sought to negotiate what the order meant and also endeavoured to turn it into a lottery of sorts where they suggested they would release certain documents if Karam also released certain documents that weren't part of the discovery. At first I thought the Court's response was too subtle and engaging with the defendants on the wrong level. However, I came to realise the Court had configured a bottom line with Parker and Purkiss which by their own admissions they can't avoid.

The Court acknowledged the long delays caused by Parker and Purkiss because their legal incompetence, an 'incompetence' in my opinion which has been in part deliberately orchestrated by the two men - mocking the Courts and the Justice system.  By way of mitigating their situation, accepting the inevitable, the pair volunteered they would commission a lawyer to act on their behalf. The Judge seized on that and I have doubts that any more prevarication will be permitted. The trial is to go ahead by Judge alone for the very simple reason that it is straight forward and a resolution will be reached in good time. That alone, doesn't seem to be obvious to Parker and Purkiss or I'm sure it would be predicted that they would be squawking and wailing at length, imagine it as the pair compliantly approaching their own legal demise - naturally suspicious but confident in their own stupidity.

The material under discovery relates to the substance of the hate-sites, who set them up, the personnel, communications between them, material deleted from the site and the material kept inside the inner sanctums, press releases, even in relation to Purkiss communications to and with administrators of the Trade Me Message Boards. In effect, all the material between Purkiss, Parker, O Brien, Curran, Cochrane and a host of others. Of course some of that material by its nature will disclose the stalking, hate campaigns, and machinations toward encouraging or breaking the law. The extent ranges even to drafts, editorial or broadly 'other content.' This is fantastic stuff for an observer that has borne some of the brunt of the ill will and evilness of the hate-sites. It has been long obvious to me the links between ex police, and others were misinformation has been distributed in a manner contrary to the good maintenance of the Law. Whether Karam has that in mind or not the public will benefit by seeing Parker and Purkiss and along with their confidants exposed. Included is all emails and other correspondence relating to the Sunday Star Times article published in that newspaper on 20 December 2009 wherein were contained, among other things I recall, Purkiss's threats against both Karam and David Bain. Good stuff folks.

The Judge notes that Parker and Purkiss bartering with the plaintiff over what would be released in return for Karam releasing material not covered by discovery was improper. We know that has caused delays, and causing delays by improper conduct are going to weigh heavily around the necks of the twin headed moron constituted by 2 half wits by the name Parker and Purkiss. The Judge points out that 'there was no basis on which to resist the plaintiff's claim.' He states that 'the fact that the defendants are unrepresented makes no difference; the obligations on discovery are clear and not difficult to understand. I make an order that the defendants pay the reasonable costs and disbursement associated with the application.' Which I now concede is not subtle, rather a blow from a hammer wrapped in judicial cloth and no less.

The Judgement goes onto consider applications for discovery by the defendants which all fail save for the release of information all ready in the public forum as referred to at the outset here. But is the nature of the failed applications that truly betrays the disaster Parker and Purkiss are facing. The reference to 'fishing' in the press release likely leaked by Parker is made evident in context of the entire proceedings to my mind. Parker and Purkiss only now look for information to nullify the charges they face, rather than long before they published them. In other words, they never had proof of their claims at any point, yet, mindless fools they be, they confess as much by asking for the plaintiff to provide information which they have no proof exists. That's where they are folks, right up the creek, admitting they have no evidence but that they 'believe' it exists somewhere. Bewildering insanity.

It's of interest that some nutter emailed a 'let God strike you down' missive to me yesterday. Some little time before the leak herein featured on the doorstep. Nutty people folks, real nutty and dangerous. And so it shows in the judgement, 'Mr Parker submitted that the plaintiff should be required to discover any document that might help prove the truth of the statements made that are now the subject of the proceeding. While understandable from a lay perspective, this position does not reflect the correct approach to discovery in a defamation case.' In other words Parker can't prove the essence of his allegations but he hopes that Joe Karam can, I'm sure he does. However, the problem is Kent and the others big mouths and bravado, no matter how far they might try to dig now it's all too late, the ship has sailed. No use for them to plead for Karam to turn it around and come back so that they might check his pockets 'just in case.'

For the assistance of the  two dimplots the judgement points out the true order of things 'Under s 38 of the Defamation Act 1992 where a defendant alleges that statements of fact that are subject of the proceedings are true he or she is required to give particulars specifying "the facts and circumstances on which the defendant relies in support of the allegation that those statements are true.'" Kent could merely be confused as to whether he is the plaintiff or the defendant or it may go to the root of the insanity which grips him. Kent, you are the defendant, your obligation as I wrote to you about years ago was to ensure what you were saying was true or your little white bum might get sued. How tragic, and unattractive.

Almost as tragic is the insane legacy Parker has sought to bequeath to the world. In March 2012 the defendants applied for an order on whether or not that 'words' were reasonably capable of bearing the meanings pleaded by the plaintiff and whether the particular meanings were properly pleaded. Fundamentally, space cadet Parker, hoped to convince the Court and the world the true essence of a word was contained in the mind of speaker or writer. Indeed, a space cadet, could say 'you are a crook' but actually mean something else despite the common acceptance of the word crook and in particular the environment of the speech, its origins (in this case a hate-site) etc. Absolute pure madness. If I've ever felt some sympathy for Purkiss it's gone out the door, anybody that would support a pleading of such nonsense is as mad as the submitter.

It followed that Parker and Purkiss tried to claim that costs had been agreed to lie where they fell after the recent unsuccessful settlement conference despite the reason no logical reason why Karam's counsel would agree to such a thing. However, Parker has hung his hat on the claim and will be required to give evidence on the matter later. From that conference came a 'commitment' from Parker to agree to the trial taking place as soon as possible. All this of course with him having in mind how to escape costs and apparently unaware that the trial was rapidly taking shape despite his attempts at delay.

To the nuts and bolts: Joe Karam's counsel has indicated 3 days as the duration for the time needed to present the case at trial. Parker, how unsurprising, was unable to give an estimate but here his earlier work traps him. Parker submitted that he was expecting to retain counsel to prepare for, and conduct, the trial. The Judge ordered another conference of 1 October and states 'The defendants' counsel is to appear at that conference and be in a position to accurately assess the time required for the defendants' case.' I think that statement has drawn a line in the sand, it is clear, Parker has agreed with it, in fact it was his suggestion to escape further scrutiny and embarrassment at the hearing. Indeed it will be what will hang him if he doesn't obey.

The public deserve to see the proper administration of the Law and whilst I said at the outset I believed Parker and Purkiss were unnecessarily indulged, in fact trusted, by the Court it looks like that situation is over. There is a lot public interest resting on this case, for the plaintive of course, but also in the wider interests of a just and lawful society. Parker, Purkiss and the others have freely broken not only civil law but criminal law and I can't wait for the hens to come home to roost for these hate-campaigners. Our society deserves more than hate sites fed by crooked cops and twisted news media. People have their rights of privacy, but more to the point children have the right to be protected from nutters like these two, Christine Williams, and the other sicko witches.

You've necked yourself Kent. Good job in my books.