Thursday, November 29, 2012

Minister keeps David Bain waiting.

There are two eternal characteristics in Law in New Zealand. The first is the haste with which the police charge somebody for a crime despite all the evidence not being available, or lacking cogency to known events, or which doesn't reasonably conclude guilt on the person being charged over others not charged. In relatively recent history these have such events have been happening for over 40 years since the notable and destructive miscarriage of Justice perpetuated on Arthur Thomas, Vivien Harrison and their families. The second is the time the Justice Department 'allow' themselves to watch remedies to MOJs percolate.

Many of the old phrases of Law maintain relevance today and I note 'justice delayed is justice denied.' The Minister of Justice for some obscure reason, but true to the path of her predecessors, is also extravagant with the time and lives of those whose freedom has been stolen by the state. Those locked away on gut feelings or under the heat of public pressure to solve a crime they didn't commit. I wonder if any MP will ask the Minister in the final sitting of Parliament for the year why the case of David Bain is being delayed. Or if a word will be offered in that place so desolate of concerns for the rights of citizens to question why Scott Watson still awaits the answer to a Petition to the Governor General after over 2 years has past.

There is nothing in New Zealand to fill the gap for those in the situation of David Bain, Scott Watson, Teina Pora and Allan Hall except the dedicated few who assist such men. If you think clearly about that the height of the Government's lack of concern for those falsely imprisoned then falls either within it is the oddly described Royal Prerogative or the wit and drive of committed Lawyers to get cases back before the Courts. The black hole of the Royal Prerogative and applications for mercy, compensation or to have new evidence considered out of time lies within a wasteland effectively looked over by the Political heads of the Departments who have contributed to the MOJs. There is apparently no where else to go, other than back to the head of the Department that has inflicted, overseen, or taken part in the MOJ.

When Greg King died, how the hopes of Scott Watson and others in similar situations to him must have crumbled. The last word on Scott Watson's petition under the Royal Prerogative was that Greg King was 'discussing' with the Crown the belated report by the Crown's own appointed Lawyer who looked into the case for a well paid eternity  Every where one looks in all such cases the Crown's hand remains involved in the 'unpicking' of MOJs. This despite the fact that it was the same hand that took part in the construction. The same folks that were happy with the cartridge case that suddenly appeared in the garden of Jeanette and Harvey Crewe after it had already been searched. The same folks that were untroubled by the bloody and bruised hands of Robin Bain. The very same department that were happy to propose that a 17 year old Teina Pora took part in the rape and murder of Susan Burdett even after it was exposed that a lone wolf serial rapist's dna was found on her body. The critical thinkers who were not at all surprised that hairs would magically and convienently appear on a blanket taken from the yacht of Scott Watson which had already been examined and found not to be present.

Getting the impression of a concentration camp, a totalitarian state where your appeal for being beaten or worse on the orders of the Commander is heard by none other than the Commander himself. Joe Karam and the QC Michael Reed must be seriously considering filing an application before the Courts as to the timeliness of David Bain's application. I feel they have plenty of grounds starting with not being given a copy of Justice Binnie's report and recommendation. Why shouldn't the applicant be the first person to know, it's a principle of Justice that a person should know the evidence for and against them in any proceeding. Doubt not that this application is not a Judicial Proceeding because the Courts are the venue to have any Government decision reviewed, and also the venue to consider aberrations of the Bill of Rights, and not lease to consider the time tested rule that 'Justice delayed is Justice denied.'

If it were me, the skirmish would now be on after the flippant off hand remarks of the Minister as to doing things in her own time. Being a Minister of Justice is not a frivolous pursuit nor is it one that allows an appointed head to dwell in centuries past where Kings ruled over Justice with whim, favour or dislike. Time for New Zealand to move forward and embrace not only the concepts of freedom and Justice but to hold the political arbiters to task.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Defamation and hate message; the noose tightens.

One characteristic of  hate-siters is that they always 'parrot' the same message, like talking magpies with a cliché.  Let's recall a few: they are all 'right thinking.' They all 'know' that David Bain had injuries 'consistent with having been in a fight with his brother Stephen.' The also 'know' that David's prints were on the rifle 'in blood.' 'Right thinking'  is subjective of course and also a type of banner because if one is 'right thinking' one is off to a jolly good start 'right' down the gurgler. Of course to become a 'hate messenger' one must be able to think not like a 'right thinking New Zealander' but in fact like a magpie.

I'm no expert on magpies but I have an 'attack on sight' parrot called Horace. Horace is an amazing parrot in that I never needed to teach him how to bite, he taught himself, he also taught himself how to climb on the roof and drop lead headed nails on passers-by  On one excursion into the wild he entered a neighbour's house where they were quite taken with him until they decided they didn't really want him in the kitchen wrecking things because he likes to wreck, and talk and be cheeky, but most of all to stand his ground. I don't intend to be disrespectful to magpies or parrots by saying that hate-siters are like them, but such types of birds like shiny things and mischief. Magpies as you may know are fiercely territorial and will swoop on dogs or humans they fear might be getting close to a nest. So my comparison between magpies and stalkers is not disrespectful to those highly intelligent birds so protective of their own territory and young. Perhaps lemmings are a better picture or description.

As we see from the New York Times article above, 'twitterers' are now 'relegated' to the ranks of defamers and hate messengers if they're silly enough to repeat information that may not be true, or simply make something up in order to embarrass or frighten others. Reading that article it seems to this point that 'Twitter' itself sees it's position as 'indemnified' by virtue of 'user rules' possibly a contract of sorts which makes users responsible for what they 'tweet.' Good luck with that one. As we found out earlier this year when Trade Me settled with Joe Karam a private entity can not indemnify themselves against the Law. Despite best efforts at denial Trade Me rightly realised they own what they publish whether the words are their own or not. Their previous position was similar in law of a 'chain of responsibility' not existing, which overlooked that the supplier of a vehicle or a firearm to robbers has liability. Twitter, or indeed the Law on their behalf, will have to consider that if a person 'tweets' a publication which is offensive or threatening, if but for the help of Twitter it will never have reached it's target and the broader audience who witness the offence - same as for message boards and indeed traditional print, newspapers and magazines.

Overall, hate-siters with knitting needles poised over voodoo dolls will see this as another attack on 'right thinking' parrots, magpies or whatever you might wish to call an idiot that repeats mantras of hate dutifully because they like the sound of it and believe it must be true because some other idiot magpie called Kent published it on a hate-site. But in the reported case we see the 'real dangers' when 'right thinking' idiots make false claims against people, or 'report' information that is simply not truthful or indeed they have no way of confirming whether it is true apart from hearing from another parrot called Vic Purkiss, or maybe Melanie White the 'Truth Confessor.'

Fortunately 'stick and stones' may not break your bones, but in the hands of our New Zealand hate-siters they took their defamation and hate-message further. They 'proposed' visits for 'cups of tea,' to take children away from families, send family friends around who were 'boxers,' or to 'rescue' children or partners of their sworn enemies - those that weren't 'right thinking New Zealanders. Annette Curran, Christine Williams and Glenda O Brien were busy laying false complaints and drooling over the prospect of having me arrested on Christmas Eve with the help of a larger hate-organisation, one quite happy to accept the word of similarly dull minded half-wits. Little did that second organisation know that the dullard 'twisted sisters' were recording all their machinations on Annette Curran's hate-site that she had opened to the world by advertising, how sad for her that she was so thick that she didn't realise that the money she might earn by having advertising on her site would also sink her. Advertising of course allowed any punter into the until then 'secret site,' coven or whatever you might wish to call it. One thoughtful contact of mine copied everything available to the public that linked through advertising - all panic broke loose, threats of court action you name it. Of course you can't publicly display something in your own stupidity of thinking that it was private and still claim privacy when any reasonably intelligent person would understand the format of advertising.  That information gathered still serves today in current and prospective litigation along with leaks from Kent Parker's hate-sites.

So a few doors are yet to be knocked upon, hen's yet to come home to roost thanks to the leaky sites and idiots who thought their hate was normal and right thinking. In the wider view we will all learn the simple adage 'what you print you own.' An adage that Twitter may yet discover, and certainly now a large number of their users begin to understand.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Who was it again......?

Just trying to remember the reporter who sat through 'just about' every minute of the Bain trial, noting an 'alleged' injustice but kept his mouth shut. He was the self-professed 'expert' on the Bain trial, the man who reported to the nation daily but 'forgot' to report significant and important evidence of proof of David's evidence.

He was the same dude that got a warning (lucky boy wasn't charged - maybe someone in his family interceded on his behalf, or perhaps he was just a favourite of the police, having spent years omitting facts about the Bain case and perpetuating myths) to stay away from Bain Jurors after the trial because a member of the Jury, complained that he was has harassing them.

He was an award winning journalist because of a piece he wrote regarding the Bain trial where he made accusations against the Jury - yes that's right, he never brought it to the Court's attention - obviously because most of it was probably dreamed up, and at least clearly not substantial enough to notify the Court Registrar or Judge. He also had bouts of amnesia and never told the NZ public that his idol, Robin Bain, accused fiddler, died with blood smears on his hands, and with his blood sucked inside the rifle barrel of the weapon he had dispatched himself with. He also forgot to report that David had no injuries the morning of the killings but the father had not only injuries, but blood on his palms that arrived there before his death. I guess the person was hoping for some significant adulation from those that had leaked him information, that he in turn 'leaked' onto the hate-sites in order that it 'might accidentatly' be 'leaked' onto Trade Me, perhaps to promote a continuing Miscarriage of Justice.

Such a bugger that I can't remember the reporter's name at the moment because I was reminded of him by news this week which revealed that a Juror 'announced' something that had also happened during the retrial which has been upsetting her for 3 years. Similarly, she also didn't report her 'concerns' in the required fashion by informing the Court - she 'waited' for three years and went to the TV about it. The poor thing it must have been driving her crazy - like an itch. I didn't see the show but have read about it, she apparently revealed that some jurors visited the site of the old Bain home-stead, in fact the public already knew that, also knew that some Jurors took some written material pertaining to the case, or one very similar, into the Jury room. Information already in the public domain and of no apparent concern to the authorities. But this Juror who may have identified themselves decided she needed to point out that she never found David innocent. Obviously she might well have slept through a lot of the trial because the Jury of course had been asked only if they found David Guilty or Not Guilty by the normal test, beyond reasonable doubt. Apparently she confirmed  that there had not been enough evidence to satisfy her that David was guilty - so it remains a bit of mystery as to what she was talking about and why.

Then of course I began to consider that she, like that reporter who was warned to stay away from the Jury or be prosecuted, had both followed the same line - reported something in public which actually, if true, should have been immediately reported to the Court. That reporter of course already 'had form' for Jury stalking, along with his mates from the hate-site, (some of which is recorded on this site from a couple of years ago) - where there had been reports of 'having got' Jurors. What the 'got' actually means could be part of an inquiry at some point, but it does appear to indicate some sort of relationship between at least one Juror and an 'enterprise'  said up to spread hate and undermine the Justice system.

Baffled Bill Hodge had something to say about it as well, much like his confusion over aspects of the evidence in the Bain case which he hasn't understood or simply imagined. Bill for some reason has never chosen to connect the events of Jury stalking and public revelations of the  same, or the biased publicity of the Bain case nor the connection to the hate-sites. Maybe thinking about it gives him a head ache. Right on cue fat Tony Osook reports the pending TV show on the Trade Me website and after it's airing a 'newbie' starts a thread who along with another - promptly gets banned - showing plainly that Trade Me no longer want to have anything to do with on line harassment and defamation. Extraordinarily, yawn, Don Bain, and Ralph Taylor happen along and confirm their (actual words) belief that it okay to be in 'lynch mobs' and that David needs to get use to being harassed. News for them coming up of course.

Noted in all this is Justice Binnie's report, those that once lauded his input now denigrate him despite yet not having read the report. Real sick folks people, fiddler worshippers, stalkers and law breakers. I've heard an unconfirmed report that there is some disquiet at the Ministry over where blame might be laid in Binnie's report, the public are aware that Justice Binnie made the decision to speak to two controversial figures in the prosecution of the Bain case  - ex detectives Doyle and Weir. So that avenue might be the source of any criticism that could be mentioned in the report, or indeed it might of that of the Crown's oversights in many aspects of the 'actual Miscarriage of Justice.'

So there we are folks what is the real news on the Bain case? That David is yet to see the report even though he is the petitioner - I think so, that takes some beating. But on the face of it so does the criticism of a report yet to be made public. As for the concerned Juror well I hope she feels better having got things off her chest. On the specifics of a Jury who has been much maligned it seems that every 'attack' upon it, is viewed by the hate-siters as some kind of victory, yet here we see a Juror confirming that there wasn't evidence to convict David - as if the public didn't already know that. But additionally there seems to be no appreciation of the fact that the apparent 'mistakes' of procedure that might have been made by the Jury are not shown to have been to the benefit of David - if any of it is true it can't be said that it was to his advantage and does nothing to diminish what this Juror has apparently said - no evidence beyond reasonable doubt to convict David, and if the reports are accurate - the man tasked with the test of innocence has found in David's favour.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ewen MacDonald escapes police trap.

While part of the country continue to believe Ewen MacDonald escaped life imprisonment the evidence continues to stack up that he didn't, even to the point of questioning why he was charged. It has emerged that the scientist who examined the number of waves of the sole of size 9 dive boots knew that the boots MacDonald was claimed to have worn didn't match the number of waves found on the prints lifted from the scene, that the lifted prints were from a shoe 2 sizes larger. How the Crown couldn't know that when it's own scientist David Neale recorded it in his own notes is impossible to accept other than that the scientist and the police didn't want the truth, they already had revealed. Will Neale be sanctioned, prosecuted, with the Crown Prosecutor be brought to task?

It was no mistake but deliberate. Just as it was deliberate that the Crown never disclosed 100s of phone tapes recorded under warrant none which revealed anything other than than the fact there were no admissions of any sort implicating MacDonald. Imagine how important any admission would have been to the Crown case, or even a slip of talking about a shotgun, another crime, discarding clothing, puppies or anything connected with the murder. But when there was nothing the police deliberately chose to hide that despite the rules that required them to reveal such information which the defence would use to convincing effect on the Jury. So no admission the knew that the boot prints didn't belong to MacDonald, no admission that in 100s of conversations MacDonald said nothing that in anyway pointed to having been involved in the murder of his brother-in-law Scott Guy. Yet still they proceeded with the case, knowing that their single piece of 'critical' forensic evidence against MacDonald didn't incriminate him but in fact absolved him of blame.

Let's go a little further the Crown prosecutor, Ben Vanderkolk, in material that he did disclose, the equivalent of 200 east-light folders, 2000 interviews provided to the defence in a  PDF format they couldn't down load. He held out on making it available on a format that could be unloaded to the point where MacDonald's lead defence counsel, the late Greg King was unable to properly prepare. It took a year for Vanderkolk to relent and release, then only under pressure from the defence that they would seek a trial adjournment and obviously advise the Court of the reason. Vanderkolk released the material in an accessible format only one month before the trial. Accidental, or like the hidden confirmation that the boot print at the murder scene wasn't MacDonalds, and the hours of phone conversations recorded of an unsuspecting MacDonald none of which the Crown revealed in the normal order of discovery.

Fast forward to the trial. Now we know that members of the community were approached by Police not to sign defence papers supporting the  assertion that MacDonald was unlikely to get a fair trial in his own district. Why would the police wish to avoid the Courts being able to properly assess the fairness or unfairness of MacDonald being tried in his own district. Well Vanderkolk and the officer in charge Schwalger know why because they were issuing the orders for police to intercede in the due process, of course again something to favour the police who had worked hard in the community on the basis that MacDonald was guilty, confidentiality and all that wink and nudge stuff.

So MacDonald not getting a fair trial seemed to be an ambition of the Crown well before it started. Then on the opening and conduct of the Trial we got to see a range of other 'events' which I wrote about at the outset and said were designed to influence the Jury. The parade of distressed witnesses, in some case attractive and sad women, being called many times to offer tearful testimony that could have been given on a single occasion - intention? To accumulate the misery and distress of those witnesses against the defendant, theatre indeed. We even got to see Sue Schwalger shepherding particular witnesses through a 'side' door so as for them not to have to walk  past MacDonald - deliberate impression? That he was dangerous and the witnesses were fearful of him and therefore even in the absence of proof he was guilty.

We very nearly saw a Miscarriage of Justice work against Ewen MacDonald, and it wasn't through lack of trying on the police and Crown's behalf - essentially they tried everything they could to prejudice the case against him; most importantly burying evidence that he hadn't been at the murder scene and trying to fudge proof that he'd been at home, seen by others at the time of Scott's death. All this before the bizarre murder on a bicycle scenario. One that had MacDonald biking to the murder scene carrying a shotgun without a shoulder strap and returning from there with the same shotgun and 3 puppies - truly the crime narration of idiots. Dangerous and ruthless idiots however, folks willing to overlook proof of MacDonald's clear innocence, overlook anything apparently, discovery, procedure, bias and anything else one should expect from the Justice system in order not to falsely convict an innocent man. Will Schwalger, Neale and Vanderkolk be asked to explain, or will this case fall on the final words of Schwalger's attempt to indicate they'd got the right man and really there was no one else to look for. Sure.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sensible - really?

From a correspondent, and the link from Sunday Star Times:

It’s the bit at the end that I am particularly disturbed by – Sophie Elliot’s mother talking about vengeance. This is lynch mob stuff again.
We need more clarity about the purpose of sentencing. It has multiple purposes: punishment, removal of dangerous people from the public, rehabilitation. Nothing, but nothing, can undo a violent crime (as opposed to other crimes: theft can be repaid and so-on). But most violent crimes are committed by young males, and they grow out of it, usually, and can go on to be valuable members of society.
I think we need appropriate sentencing, where perpetrators’ punishments fit the crimes and they can learn from it. Examples?
Graffiti artists should be made to clean graffiti off – bloody hard work – and given an outlet for their ‘artistic’ or destructive impulses.
Drunk drivers should be made to work in some way with the aftermath of accidents involving drunk driving – clearing up, car or site repair, assisting with those disabled by such things.
Someone like Ewen MacDonald could be made to work with, say, the SPCA, helping with injured and mistreated animals.
In these circumstances, the convicts would be surrounded by those dealing with the aftermath of crimes similar to their own. They would see the disapproval, and learn about the damage it does, and, I believe, learn some deeper lessons about what it is to be a good person.
This is basic child psychology. If a child does something naughty and is told off or sent to their room, they are punished and just get resentful, and if they don’t do it again it’s for fear of being punished. If they are made to put things right, they learn, and don’t do it again because they have learned why it is wrong. One episode of drawing on the wall followed by a bit of hard work cleaning it off and perhaps repainting the wall is a lesson that lasts. 

Some very interesting comment to which I would like to add  later about the denials featuring in the response to questions of the SST, but firstly about this comment by Kim Workman.

It seems that SST sensible modelled the trappings of 'Christie's Law' from something similar in Britain. No trouble with using other models, but it also raises the spectre of McVicar waiting for tragedies to happen on which he can launch further designs of his intentions. Because McVicar didn't deny Kim Workman's allegation it can probably be accepted as true. What isn't said, but can be implied, is that Garth was waiting for such a tragedy that befell Christie to give fruition to a longer term plan.

"Garth has always been looking for something that looks like Christie's Law - to match the success of Sarah's Law, in Britain," says the Trust's long-time opponent, Kim Workman, a cop turned justice reformer.
"But when they produced the T-shirts and the hats and were selling them . . . it was just so tawdry. It was like they were marketing the whole incident."
Workman says the family's emotional response is understandable. His overriding concern is that victims like the Marceaus become trapped in their grief by the Trust and are left unable to ever reach peace.

Further along Workman says that evidence shows that if people lose sight of social change, and if it does for punitive purposes and of vengeance and retribution that this actually impedes people's hearing. More confirming evidence on that later from a SST proponent.

A drug and alcohol counsellor Roger Brooking called the Trusts's actions 'disgusting' and emotional blackmail that McVicar uses to attract media and public attention to push his get tough agenda. For her own part Tracey Marceau denies this and says...

"I think the Trust helped us deal with the situation and give us strength to do what we've done. I'm quite sure the people that criticise him are only in it for their own agendas."

However, she doesn't point out what she thinks those agendas may be. Although Roger Brooking's comment about Garth's 'get tough agenda' may give a clue that the 'common' enemy is first of all offenders, then secondly anybody who does't agree with the Trusts 'universal' views as to what should happen to them. In fact his 'deputy' Ruth Money spells it out...

No matter how you cut up the figures, crime is growing and is swelling, so more people are aware of victimisation."

As the article goes on to show, and as most people are aware, crime rates are falling - in NZ's case quite markedly to a 25 year below. This raises the question about the honesty of the campaign, why does Ruth Money claim a growing crime rate when evidence shows otherwise? This is the same person who was recently quoted as wanted to help and guide Judges, going by her own performance her 'guidance' would be toward perpetuating myth in order to achieve harsher prison sentences and prison conditions. That is displayed again as the Money and McVicar team continue on unblinkingly with McVicar claiming that the Trust never approach victims. When the reporter gives two instances where they have Money, despite the reversal of another SST claim, simply 'clarifies' that particular approaches were "It's not like I was saying this is what the Trust is about, come and join us," 

I see. So an approach is not an approach if it's 'not like I was saying' mmmh. The differences between what the SST advertise and what they do continue to be at odds according to evidence recorded in the article. First of all they claim they don't drag people to the platform (speech dias) which is abruptly contradicted by Priest John Howell who gives an example of exactly the metaphorical dragging of a victim to the 'platform' to give a speech. A strange connotation arises between platforms and the gallows in my mind - obvious something Garth and Ruth are unable to see. In the particular case John Howell spoke about he mentioned huge SST rallies in the town where the crime happened and how the deceased victim's parents chose not to speak although an Aunt did  who has since stopped speaking at Trust events.

A little further along the reporter, Kristy Johnston, reports or makes the following resounding comment....Perhaps the real problem in the justice debate is that, in disagreeing with McVicar, it can look like you're attacking a victim's right to be angry or to get better help.
A repeat of what various other people have said, certainly true. For example who would publicly voice any surprise about a nude calendar of those impacted by crime. It is possibly the first for the world, and may not be seen by a wider audience in the same way hoped for by it's promoters.

I think the article brilliantly demonstrates the points made by Workman, Brooking and others. But it is the voices of Garth and Ruth that reveal that they deliberately mislead the public and no doubt there own members. I guess most people would agree that any relationship that starts out with deceit is flawed. All of the things SST take issue with, Judges, Lawyers and the Courts they display themselves. The concept of corruption or 'people out of touch' is not demonstrated in their arguments, but their own dishonesty is making it very hard not to concur with those interviewed speaking about vulnerable people being taken advantage of and having their state of grieving and loss both aggravated and extended. The very idea of vengeance as I mentioned above is confirmed in the words of a Trust proponent Lesley Elliot...

Lesley admits being in a group like the Trust does "incite you a little bit more", but said it wasn't morbid when the group got together and told their stories each year at the group's annual conference. She says for the first two or three years she didn't feel vengeful, but feels more as time goes on.
"I start to think more about what we've lost. Sophie would have been 27 this year - that sort of makes me feel vengeful. He's got his life and Sophie doesn't have hers. So I guess the critics [of the Trust] are right but in another way, who's going to make the changes if you're not getting people who have been there, done that?"

I admire her for her honesty, particularly where she points out that what would have been milestones for her lost daughter make her feel vengeful. I like to think that the words of the opponents of SST mentioned in the article, all of whom are specialists in dealing with victims and some with offenders alike - show that Lesley and others like her would have a heck of a lot to contribute in a positive of embracing healing over hate.

As for the forthright words and common sense of my correspondent captured above.  'One episode of drawing on the wall followed by a bit of hard work cleaning it off and perhaps repainting the wall is a lesson that lasts.' I believe they reflect societal concerns, not only about basic right and wrong and remedies, but a release into understanding that hating is a power given away in increments of loss of love from the soul, but that healing, self-healing, with help if necessary, builds love of oneself - and for the one lost to show, that love finally overcame all, including grief.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bob Jones kicks the wasps nest!

Something like a 101 comments before the Herald shut shop on them on the issue of Bob's call for David Bain to be paid compensation. Comments were about 50% either way, despite the hate-siters  'bombarding' the board and 'liking' each others posts in a rather incestuous way.

Interestingly, not one of the hate-siters, led by Parker and Don Bain, had any problem with the point made that David nor his team had received a copy of Binnie's report and recommendation. Obviously that David had evidence supporting his innocence hidden for over a decade doesn't bother them either - they are consistent to a fault. They have no problem with the unfairness that has been characterised in the treatment of David by the authorities. Whether they have the capacity to realise it or not they are clearly unable to accept that fairness and due process is part of Justice, whether a person is considered guilty or not.

Of course because they fall at the first hurdle they also do not understand that before making comments about identified people one must be sure of the truth of what they say. Parker faces charges right now because he ignored that, and it looks like his new mate Don Bain might well find himself in the same boat. Why would Don Bain continue to say that David's prints were found in blood on the rifle when there was no sustained evidence that they were found in anything other than gun oil, and in the carrying position, prints of indeterminate age of course and certainly not in blood. He speaks of the rifle being wiped down when in fact there were many fingerprints found on it, I guess he thinks people are so stupid as to believe those fingerprints were somehow 'wiped' around. Too much to repeat from this certifiable idiot from Victoria University but here's another humdinger...

The defence also used taxpayer's money to scour every corner of the earth until they found an "expert" contortionist who could demonstrate how Robin may have - just - been able to hold the gun and reach the trigger to shoot himself. No explanation as to why RB wouldn't have simply pulled the silencer off and held the gun to his temple with his dominant hand.

Sounds good if you don't know the evidence, or in Don Bain's case, distort it. The primary scene examiner and police Pathologist Dr Dempster actually lived in Dunedin in fact was called to the Bain household on the morning of the murders-suicide. He didn't need to be searched for and agreed that far from a contortionist's pose that it was quite feasible or perfectly compatible with suicide, this from the only pathologist to give evidence that actually studied Robin's wound other than by photograph. The same man who agreed that the blood smears on Robin's hands were 'heavily stained, rinsed but not scrubbed.'

In all the comments, and I noted nothing new from the tired old dis-proven or completely false stuff, not a single hate-siter wrote about that blood on Robin's hands that arrived there before his death and necessarily therefore during the annihilation of his family. Not one person, prepared in all other ways to persecute David would refer to some of the most, if not the most telling forensic evidence against Robin Bain. Somehow the strip search which showed that David had no injuries also was left out, so was the fact that the Crown conceded that the computer had been turned on before David arrived home. And so it went on, laboriously and hateful as always.

However, and more to a point of the article, why hasn't David Bain been given a copy of Binnie's report? He is the man central to this application for compensation, in fact the man who made the application. Why is it kept secret from him while Cabinet apparently consider it? A few on the Herald site repeated some opinion that the contents of the report present 'difficulties' for the Justice Department. We recently heard the Minister speak out firmly against those charged with upholding the law who might act in a similar way to prison inmates, in other words who break the law. The law certainly has been broken in the Bain case and a further clue to the direction of the report in getting to terms with the 'mechanics' of the Miscarriage of Justice might well be that Ian Binnie interviewed two police officers, one who admitted in evidence to misleading the court and who spoke of 'a stance' of the Crown being the reason why critical evidence was hidden.

So why mindless fools like Parker, Don Bain continue to try and make square pegs fit round holes the point Bob Jones was making went right over their heads: the report is the business of David Bain and he should have had a copy of it immediately that it was available. Particularly in the circumstances that his application for compensation wasn't rejected out of hand. Although the 'rules' may not be exactly clear on this, other law is precise about the rights of an individual to know what information is held about them, and there can't possibly be any question when the information flow started with an application by the person seeking to know the contents of a critical report.

By reason that such applications are few and far between Judith Collins doesn't seem to realise that the public are entitled to think that David and his support team should not be seen to be having information withheld from them, particularly where information was withheld that resulted in false imprisonment - that is part of the reason for this application for compensation. Until Bob Jones spelt it out I'd been mesmerised by the whole concept of the Government setting itself up as Judge and Jury. The fact they called an independent jurist in to do the review quelled those concerns somewhat, particularly when the minister said the report would eventually be made public. If the public will know later are we to expect that is how David Bain will find out, when the report is released from a MOJ site?

Judith Collins gave a time-table which should have seen a decision made by now. If it is the case that there in an 'awkwardness' within the Ministry over the contents of the report why should any concern be shown for that other than to protect the 'privacy' of some who might be charged or face other sanctions. That isn't David Bain's problem now, that was his problem during 12 years he was falsely held in prison. Nobody was protecting the interests or privacy of David Bain, the vitriol on the Herald site shows that. Yet still he is treated with contempt by the very people who falsely held him captive - I wonder if the Minister understands that many of the public see an association between the two events: hatred and secrecy.

Judith Collins generally presents as black and white, conservative. She has told the public that she will hold people accountable, but right now it looks like David is being held accountable for the feelings or the wrong doing of those that rail roaded him into prison and through our own Court of Appeal.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Greg King - a tribute.

The news broke on Saturday that Greg King had been found dead near his car on a deserted road in the Wellington hills. The circumstances as reported by the police were not suspicious and the case has become the subject of a Coroner's report sometime in the future. There is speculation abroad that his death may have been suicide, diabetes driven or perhaps an unfortunate combination of both. He was 42 and by all accounts destined to achieve much greater things in his life. Of course that tends to overlook that he had achieved an enormous amount in his profession - the Law.

He was not only the youngest person to ever provide a defence for an accused in a murder trial but had a number of times argued New Zealand cases before the Privy Council in England, a rare event for any lawyer once let alone a number of times. There was something disarmingly honest about Greg that was also very rare. In any age men like to promote their sporting prowess of earlier years and as fisherman get old the fish they once landed on a particular day are always getting bigger. In Greg's amateur boxing career he described bluntly himself as a 'canvas kisser.'

As an advocate for his clients, and while he took on many unpopular cases where the defendants  were literally hated, he still managed to find a rapport with the family of the victims, hard enough in any language. He was also the man prepared to engage with The Sensible Sentencing Trust, not agreeing with them necessarily, prepared however to listen to their arguments and advance his own. A single thing that has emerged about Greg from all quarters in the last few days, and from both 'sides of the fence,' was that he was a man that was prepared to listen. Someone that even if he might not agree with others respected their rights to an opinion. This same ability was that which the Auckland Crown Prosecutor spoke about publicly, that much of Greg's work was done unknown to the public in High Court and Supreme Court appeals, the analysis of Law that shapes the future and addresses the past.

All remarkable enough until we learn that Greg supported and helped sponsor his local rugby league club, and recently expressed hope of sponsoring an up and coming young boxer. So the two sides of the man working at all levels, advocating in the Highest Courts or encouraging young men even from the wrong side of the tracks into a sporting life. His cup was very full with kindness and concern for others. Today Bob Jones noted that he would have a go at Greg about some of Greg's clients and the greatest concession he might receive was that the particular person perhaps wasn't a nice person. So even in the confines and confidentiality of the home of his own friends Greg maintained discretion, one, which it seems, allowed him to see the good in others.

On the subject of friends Greg seems to have been one for all seasons. According to ex prison inmate John Barlow Greg took his unsuccessful appeal to the Privy Council free of charge. An appeal which I note from the small amount I knew about it should have won,  a case where the police scrapped round and found a scientist to give later discredited evidence that no other would. Two Lawyers also spoke out about Greg taking on their cases of having their right to practice removed for disciplinary reasons by the Law Society, one of those also done free of charge. Ironically in tributes that have followed Greg's passing have included those from the Law Society itself, Judges, Police and Prosecutors. In the modern world Lawyers seldom if ever take on cases free of charges but here was Greg doing it a number of times, those of ex Lawyers and criminals alike. In tough economic times many in the public and politicians see the Legal profession in a poor light, often as greedy - something that seems to find a universal home across society but here was Greg King: willing to work for nothing at times and also do the hard cases on the lowest pay - State funded legal aid.

So it is hard to keyhole the reputation of Greg King because of the breadth of his personality, his generosity and belief in the Law. I wrote to him near the outset of the Ewan MacDonald trial mainly because he'd looked to have been handed a case that was heavily prejudiced against the defendant, MacDonald, by some of evidence introduced from MacDonald's video statement and by an unorthodox procedure of calling back witnesses a number of times which I felt was for dramatic affect on the Jury. I simply offered support and my view that I was sure a host of people were silently supporting Greg in his work. Within a few hours I received back a warm reply in which he said he was genuinely touched. Of course as some that may have read here before realise I've trekked some fairly unusual  roads in my life yet I was able to appreciate that here was a man capable of a kind gesture even when under the pressure of conducting the defence in a hugely controversial murder trial.

More recently I discovered that Greg parents were prison officers. His father having been working in the same prison where Arthur Thomas served the last of his sentence before being pardoned and released for murders he never committed. An event that Greg was later to say formed part of his earliest memories of the Justice system. A prison in the barest bones of the middle north island fixed between streams and lakes of trout, watched over by snow capped active volcanoes. It also emerges that his father was connected to the tribe Tu wharetoa in that ancestral home land. The prison huts bleak enough in their low security setting wasn't far from an equally bleak officer's village where the young Greg and his family lived. Whether that background goes to explain the full landscape of Greg's life and where he walked without fear may now never be fully explained. Though somewhere, perhaps in the looming power of those volcanic peaks or the depths of the nearby Lake Taupo something formed in Greg, grew to span the depths and peaks of life for one remarkable young man who would touch so many.

Greg may have already left the district in pursuit of his education when his pugilistic pal Jones punched out at reporters  who had buzzed him in a helicopter as he fished for trout. No doubt a sometimes topic of conversation on the weekly visits to Jones library where Greg appears to have kept his cards close to his chest in terms of his clients but not his vision of Justice. Visits, which no doubt by Greg's admission of his propensity for alcohol, may have involved drinking wine. Wine, liquor,  booze something Greg admitted this year was too large a part of his life. On Saturday the public learnt that Greg had diabetes, more recently came the information that he'd had bad news at a Doctor's visit last Wednesday, the day before his death. It has also emerged that Greg was having trouble with his feet, hands and eyes, all symptoms I understand of the advance of diabetes that is not well managed or continuing to deteriorate.

I've learnt a little more about the effects of unmanaged diabetes, beside knowing of a near neighbour having to have  her legs amputated, and one could imagine that Greg's lifestyle and aspirations may have made cutting back on drinking difficult, also the management of blood sugars by injection if he indeed needed insulin intervention. When I think for a moment of a man at the peak of his intellectual powers, someone so frank about the limits of his earlier sporting prowess that relegated him to speak of himself in terms of being a 'canvas kisser,' with his interest in furthering the careers of league players and boxers alike - I can sense for a moment that part of Greg may have compensated his belief of physical short comings by promoting the opportunities of others. There could be further evidence of that in his choice of sports - not rugby, bowls or cricket - but the working man's blue of league and boxing, probably not a long way from the beer canteen at Hautu prison camp where his father was an officer. As for choice of friends, and they apparently appear to have been very wide and varied, he found a place for the wealthy and pugilistic Bob Jones, sometime boxer, promoter and manager, long term fan and a fearless litigant.

At 42, or even 60 or 72 diabetes would not be anybody's friend. Some of us will have known children with diabetes frustrated by what activities they couldn't undertake so I wonder where the diagnosis of this illness left Greg in the first place, let alone a year later when it appears things may have worsened. Here was a man equal to any orator with a piercing intellect to whom other lawyers looked for support when preparing complex appeals, and whose one known method of relaxation was with aspiring, current and ex sportsmen some of whom he may have enjoyed sharing a drink and experiences with men few Judges or lawyers could find company with. This too the man said to be unable to say no, whose clients he was unsuccessful in defending spoke highly of him. Someone outspoken in not supporting moves for a separate indigenous Justice system pushed for by some of his own people, and indication again of how sharply Greg understood the need for unity and not separation. Someone whom, as modest he was, understood how great his destiny may have been, unforgiving of himself for what he may mistakenly feared he might have been unable to achieve. Of course as a legal strategist few might have equalled or have mastered Greg, but in what at times for him may have been a somewhat lonely pursuit of his unique vision, and his batting away of controversy and praise I suggest he, who helped some many others in their lives, may have  felt betrayed by life itself.

I read somewhere the throw away use of the word manic he injected into a interview of either describing himself or the fact that some in Law retreat into drink for relief from pressure, and am reminded that sometimes in jest is the truth. Greg's life measured by any degree was peaks and troughs, as high as the volcanic peaks of his youth and the depth of the lake of his people. Though outgoing and friendly by nature his closing addresses to Juries were sometimes considered as almost theatrical and entrancing, perhaps giving a glimpse of the actor within the man and the possibility that he may not have always engaged with others as himself, but rather as someone he chose as the representation of himself. It is not a simple man that so easily undoes or grasps complexities without personal cost, cost which might be hidden or disguised to self-protect.

Of course I'm simply speculating and not out to achieve anything more than attempt to engage with what made Greg so special and what may have also made him perhaps equally fragile whether it was noticed earlier or not. I accept that I have little chance of answering my own questions about this man, but no doubt he will stand in memory as the giant he may never have realised or allowed himself to accept. What more to do but to salute him for a selfless life's work, fierce, subdued or simply persuasive and logical when necessary. Dare I say that one of the greatest Kauri's has fallen and bewilderment echoes in a long silence of footfalls lost.