Sunday, June 30, 2013

Martin Van Beynan the common denominator in injustice and now panic.

Martin Van Beynan of The Press heralded himself as an 'expert' on the Bain case because he sat through 'nearly' every minute of the re-trial. This according to his own script allowed him to have an 'opinion' even though as a Court reporter his 'job' was to deliver balanced reporting. Why VB needed to include with his role as reporter 'expert' opinion needs to be looked at. For example what is his motivation, is he prepared to cross the line and has he, .as Milton Weir told the Binnie review, a position on the guilt or innocence of David Bain compatible with Crown Law. On the face of it he has. Where did VB depart being a reporter to one with a 'position' on David Bain, was it before the Bain trial to the point that he 'left' out from his reporting much evidence supporting David's innocence and was that for the purpose of a view or 'position' he accepted to the benefit of The Crown?

Let's have a look. Has VB played it straight, for example when he elevated his position as a self-confessed expert on the Bain case did he disclose that his brother was a senior police officer. No he didn't and why not. Why not be frank about an involvement with the police, surely there is nothing wrong with that which would prevent him from being straight and direct about it. One can assume he is conscious that negative conclusions could be drawn between that and his 'position' on the case. More later on how far reaching that negative conclusion might now be reached, but in the meantime what other indicators are there. The main things to my mind would be what VB left out of his impartial reporting. For example why did he never report the strip search of David Bain where it was found there were no scratches on David's chest on the day of the murders but still however reported 'injuries' consistent with a fight. He knew there were none but never recorded that, in fact did the opposite. He never told the country that Robin's dna was found deep inside the rifle indicating suicide, nor did he report fully, if at all, that Robin Bain had bleed profusely on the morning of the killings before his death and his body was found to have had blood smears on his hands. An objective reporter would understand the importance of blood smears on a murder suspects hands, but VB ignored that.

Instead he was 'inventive, he claimed that David had said he hated his father, when in fact David had said that he would hate his father if it prevailed that he was the killer. He even took that 'message' to the Perth Justice Conference and asked the question from the floor. Objective, or just pure malicious? Has VB ever publicly commented on why he was warned by Christchurch police to stop harassing a Bain juror. No, nor why he acted as though the juror was obliged to answer his questions - I guess he is too impartial to do that. Though it could simply be that in his objective was biased and pro Crown from the start and that's the way it looks. He appears never to have been interested in the truth because there is no other reason why he would misrepresent the truth or just completely omit it so that his 'opinion sketches' would form an on going persecution against David Bain, just as he had done earlier with Peter Ellis.

It should be no surprise to wry watchers that VB appears to have been 'hand fed' information from Collins office in order to maintain a 'position' helpful to the Crown and it's under fire minister. He published on the day of the release of the Binnie report showing by the publishing dead line he had access to the copy of the report even before the defence team. How can it be in a democracy that an applicant to an Exercise of Executive Power is denied information which the press have already been holding for weeks - the answer to that is that is a tool of persecution that weaves a thread through the entire relationship of MVB and the Bain case. It is his job to 'sell' bad press on the Bain case and omit helpful facts, harass and bully Jury members and supply information and dialogue with Kent Parker and his hate-sites.

And how the 'scope' of that job has changed. Since last Wednesday, and the news of the discovery of David Giles, the publicity 'rescue team' has been in full swing with VB at the helm, apparently more pushed there in the panic of commentators and officials alike who need to defend their position against a strong argument that is forensic photographic proof of Robin Bain as killer. Not that there wasn't already a volume of that but in a 'losing team in denial' a siege mentality takes hold, a hold, in this case not secure against the pointed, simple truth from David Giles that points to Robin being the killer and David the victim of on going injustice.

Yet how they panic, to the point when somebody who sat through 'nearly all the trial' is suddenly the spokesman for a failed case. Clearly, sitting through a trial is not a qualification to judgement, particularly for a person who has shown poor judgement of not being forthright in a number of areas and also having a 'history' of persecuting a man who went to prison for a crime that never happened. Our Justice system is under siege by deliberate manipulation by parts of the media and a Minister who is a stranger to impartiality, due process and the spirit of Justice and Fairness - this week VB is her 'man' next he may well be discarded as many wait and watch for the truth.

Can the Minister of Justice be trusted.

Just when there are calls from within Government ranks for David Bain to drop his Judicial Review of what he sees as the mishandling of his application for compensation for 13 years of wrongful imprisonment the New Zealand Herald reveals details that pole vault the possibility of claims of 'mishandling' to political persecution.

Most readers are aware that Judith Collins, The Minister of Justice, and aspirant Prime Minister sought a 'peer review' of a report written by Justice Binnie recommending David Bain for compensation, what the public didn't know was that the Minister along with help from her advisors 'reviewed' the report before commissioning a 'Peer Review' by Robert Fisher QC, a man who faced a situation, of his own making, from which he felt the need to resign as a Judge. Not by any standard could it be said that Robert Fisher was qualified or capable to review the findings of an International Juror. Frankly his expertise isn't to that level even on a professional level because few Lawyers would agree to undertake a 'directed' review of another Lawyer in secret. Certainly the 'review' was directed by Collins of that there is no doubt, she didn't hand Robert Fisher QC, a simple directive, she listed at least 34 'concerns' that her hatchet crew had compiled.

I doubt another New Zealand Judge, or ex Judge could be found to review the professional judgement of a Jurist, in secret, and to a 'design' formulated by a politician. That is possibly why Robert Fisher is no longer a Judge, poor judgement, a mercenary approach to personal gain at the expense of others. Also included in the Herald report by David Fisher was the news that Collins distributed 30 copies of the report but none to David Bain or his lawyers. The only conclusion is that the 'report' only went to the hands of those sympathetic to Collin's view and whom there was confidence that they would work toward denying David Bain his lawful rights. A lot of people understand and support open Justice, the right for an accused to know who is accuser is and what they are saying. In the Bain case Collins has become the accuser and the architect of a framework to treat Bain, and his application for compensation, illegally.

Collins when compiling her own report was critical of Justice Binnie, not even bothering to show the impartiality of her office, she  said he had 'descended in the arena.' A description most aptly applied to herself. In recent days the 3 Degrees show has revealed the work of a Waikato business man David Giles who 'discovered' what not other person had been able to do for 19 years, the strong likelihood that Robin Bain's body had being photographed with gunshot residue on his hands consummate with loading and firing of the murder weapon contemporary with the deaths of his family. A day later 3 Degrees were being blasted for failing to have police involved, when in fact they had. They were criticised by Martin Van Beynan from The Press for only giving the 'story' to media friendly toward the Bain team, in other words suggestions were made of bias.

Who is Van Beynan? He is the man who persecuted another wrongfully convicted man Peter Ellis for a crime that was never committed. He is the brother of a senior police officer, a fact he is not known to me, to have revealed when attacking David Bain from the lofty position of claiming to have sat through almost the entire trial, one person of course of scores that sat through the trial.  He is someone who was warned by police to stop harassing a Bain juror and who, despite his vast 'knowledge' of the case never revealed to the public that Robin Bain's dna was found in the barrel of the rifle in such a manner that pointed to a high probability of suicide. It seems clear that Van Beynan was able to benefit from some of those 'loose' copies from the Minister's Office because the day the Minister was finally pressured to make the report public he already had a 'scoop' on it's contents. So exactly what Van Beynan accused 3 Degrees of he had done himself. Some readers will be aware that the 'news paper' The Truth also had an exclusive scoop on the story supplied 'after hours' by the Minister's office after a request under the Official Information Act and in record time. There is only one hand that steered the release of the material and it is the same hand that has denied David Bain natural justice.

As the Minister nears the hearing of Judicial Review in the Auckland High Court it seems that news arrives daily of what has gone on behind the scenes, the Minister has waged a campaign against Bain supported by a 'friendly press,' by a friendly ex Judge and by officials who most likely had no choice and who will hardly be helpful witnesses to any claims by The Minister that she had not in fact persecuted David Bain by plotting against him. I once asked the question as to whether the Minister was a hate-siter, at the time it was a flippant remark although it might not be now.

One of the hate-sites has a copy of fingerprints of David Bain taken in the police station but which they say were taken from the murder weapon, how ever that has happened, thanks to the Herald article, the public now knows that information has been past about secretly, some of it intended to be  leaked to the public misinforming them as to the truth. As always with the Bain case 'mistakes' by the Crown have always impacted negatively on David Bain. Clearly some in authority treat his as an 'enemy' among that number is the 'impartial' Minister of Justice. In this Minister can we trust, doesn't look like it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Time to let Mark Lundy go.

As one of many that haven't followed the Lundy case it always seem that there were obvious hallmarks of a Miscarriage of Justice, it always seemed that there had been undue weight of the fact that he was a 'bad husband' to an extent that fact was 'compensation' for a case with serious flaws in the continuity of evidence.

Following the Privy Council hearing into the case this week the answer is clear Lundy should be let go. The dramatic revelation by the Crown of a letter held on the file secretly for over a decade has, in my opinion destroyed the case against Lundy, a case which was always on one leg anyway and which required a number of near impossibilities to conveniently collide in favour of the prosecution. The letter tell us that the Crown always knew there was recorded on their files a review of the dna sample 'found' some 59 days after the murders of Lundy's wife Christine and daughter Amber. The letter recorded the opinion of nueropathologist, Dr Heng Tong, that the dna was too degenerated to be reliable as to his source or origins and that Lundy should not be convicted on the strength of the cell slides he saw. Enter Officer in Charge of the case Detective Sergeant Grantham who applied for funding to visit a DNA expert, Dr Miller in the United States. Why he needed to go in person is odd and a cynic might believe it was to give Grantham the chance to explain his opinion of Mark Lundy and his 'feelings' about the evidence and what was further needed.

Dr Miller, dear chap, was able to contradict the opinion of the nueropathologist Dr Tong using a novel system of analysis, a immunohistochemical procedure that hadn't been used in the same manner before, it appears only to have been used once in a trial since the Lundy trial and it's safe to say it is unlikely to ever been used again. Particularly so because 3 Professors, all experts in immune-histochemistry, swore affidavits that Miller's methods were fundamentally flawed and, that as Dr Tong had said over a decade earlier, the samples were so downgraded that it was impossible to reach any conclusion of their physical origins.

Grantham would later say that because of Dr Tong's prognosis it was necessary for him to get Dr Miller's opinion. A sceptic would say that Grantham was simply looking for evidence to support his 'position' on the case, otherwise he would have accepted that evidence from Dr Tong should have been made available to Lundy's defence lawyer. Why the Detective Sergeant didn't do that can't have been because of his confidence in Dr Miller's new method, but rather a lack of confidence supported by the revelation that it appears there has only been one other use of the procedure which has led to evidence being given in another trial. The three experts who swore affidavits presented to the Privy Council on the flawed processes of Dr Miller have no doubt sounded the death knoll on the credibility of Dr Miller, no doubt those opinions will relegate his career to having been that of the judicial equivalent of a gun for hire.

I can only imagine the conversations between Miller and Grantham and the lack of objectivity displayed by the Detective Sergeant who, even if he had brought into the 'mad science' of Miller, should have, without question, revealed the prospective evidence of Dr Tong over a decade ago - something which in other jurisdictions, or even within New Zealand should result for calls to have a Conspiracy to defeat the course of Justice investigated.

The 'mad science' didn't stop there in the Lundy case. There was also 'witch sniffing' of a sort where  Dr Pang a pathologist for the police relied on his nose to note the 'distinctive' lack of smell of the stomach contents of the victims to pin point the time of deaths. So confident was he about his nose and 'sniffing' powers he didn't take core temperature tests of the bodies (possibly the most reliable method - but a routine procedure nevertheless,) nor did he weigh the stomach contents in order to be able to scientifically calculate the degeneration of weight due to the digestion process - a far more precise method than the nose of a police pathologist.

So we have brain matter that was found 59 days after the murders, and of which there is no reliable proof that it is in fact brain matter. I'm unaware of how the 'brain' matter was missed for 59 days but it is a characteristic of Miscarriages of Justice that things miraculously 'turn up' in difficult investigations to help gain convictions, 'miracles' that police don't question the validity of but merely accept it as proving their 'gut feelings.' We have literal 'witch sniffing' provided by a pathologist and finally the 'computer' use time (Bain case revisited? - same 'expert' I understand - Martin Kleintjes) being dissolved in favour of Mark Lundy.  This after years of relying on an unproven 'hint' or 'professional opinion' that the remarkable Lundy was not in a different city when his wife and child were killed.

The Crown have no proof that Mark Lundy is guilty, yet he has proof that the Crown withheld evidence and used 'mad science' in order to convict him. Time to let him go.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Did Judith Collins miss the bus?

With the proposed legislation to prevent on line stalking and bullying the above link shows the current laws are already adequate. It was only a few weeks ago that Judith Collins was taking credit for what would be leading edge legislation to deal with internet crime, yet the Law already provided that remedy in an decades old Act that was updated in the 1990s. During the period of which Judith Collins and others were talking about new laws on line stalkers were able to continue while their victims, if listening to the Minister, would have been entitled to think that there was no Law to deal with it and that they were helpless in the meantime. Reading the following it seems that Madeline Flanagan doesn't appreciate the current Law and believes that it won't open the floodgates.

It's clear that Ms Flanagan doesn't appreciate that the Act used to prevent the harassment by Jacqueline Sperling is in fact user friendly and on the face of it more expedient than the proposed legislation. Not only has the prevarication on encouraging internet victims to use the current Law to protect themselves been unnecessary and harmful, it has also no doubt cost a small fortune to 'roll out' a 'new' Law. There is no reason to believe it will be more efficient than the existing Law that obviously Government Ministers and some Lawyers alike chose to ignore. Laws on harassment go back 100s of years, it didn't take new Law to adapt to a new age, rather understanding the current Law and precedent to apply it to the modern times. The difficulty in understanding that there is no difference between a word or words written in a letter or on the side of the house are no different from those written on Facebook or a internet message board site is really quite primitive. As it appears Trade Me have finally accepted when they settled with Joe karam last year. The traditional print media norms apply to the internet as Judge Harvey's judgement and others show.

Of personal interest to me where the apparent 'obstacles' I discovered in pursuing a similar route in recent years. Lawyers with years of experience were dubious about the Law being able to be applied, some even saying that it couldn't be applied. Also of personal interest was the fact that Judge Harvey, rightly in my opinion, awarded costs in the Sperling case, because Sperling had reached an agreement that she breached - something like a certain hate-site administrator I know of.

The chances are that Judith Collins will still roll out her 'new' Law and that time will prove the law which emerged over Centuries and through precedent and amendment will remain the best course despite it's neglect while some people confused themselves over what harassment actually is.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Joseph Parker lifting the Crown.

Boxing fans and pugilistic purists alike should be getting a lift at the development and progress in the career of the new young Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker, a 'boy' out of South Auckland and like his predecessor, the celebrated David Tua, another boxer with a Samoan heritage.

There are many notable things about the progress of Joseph Parker, possible foremost his size and speed from a physical sense though it's his easy manner and relaxed style that make the young man appear so likeable. He's no trash talker and he respects his opponents in a sport that has seen fighters claiming to be going to eat the children of their opponents, drink their blood and a range of bizarre things that sometimes shunt boxing into a similar realm as that of 'professional wrestling.'

There are stories yet to happen that will be told about Joseph but at this early point there is something that stands out to me as most significant - Kevin Barry. The same man who guided and nurtured David Tua is playing a role in the early career of Joseph. An Olympic Silver medalist with a family pedigree in boxing. Kevin Barry seems like one of the nice guys of NZ boxing and many will recall his commitment to David Tua and his apparent shock when David convinced himself that Kevin was no longer acting in David's interests. While that story is somewhat consigned to history in a negative way, the 'Parker factor' brings another dimension. Joseph Parker has and will benefit from the Tua-Barry legacy, the experience of that legacy is hard to value or put a price on but I think it is fair to say that it is an immense advantage for the 'new' generation boxer Joseph Parker.

Doors have been opened for him with trusted hands of experience. I doubt that Kevin or David Tua have less than not often considered how differently they might have done things in hindsight, yet it is that hindsight that is gifted an opportunity to Joseph. Kevin Barry will understand more now about handling a young fighter than in his time with David - he's older and wiser. His 'product' appears to be different psychologically at this point in that it was very obvious to most observers that David often found himself in 'dark' places and his career was often characterised as how his father made him as a boy 'fight' men in order to upskill him and strengthen the young Tua. Boxing is full of fighters from tough backgrounds but to this point Joseph is showing no signs as struggling with a checkered past - to the contrary he looks well grounded and intelligent to go with his natural size and ability. He's also savouring his work, the last couple of months training in the States has obviously motivated him and no doubt for all the rounds he sparred there was matching 'down to earth' talking from his mentor Kevin. Stories told about where things can go wrong, about ego, fear and  determination. kevin like any trainer will be working 'inside' the head of Joseph and Joseph will respect Kevin for where he has been and what he has done - a nice combination.

Things go a little further though. Kevin Barry was an 'outside' fighter, sharp jab and rangy. He had to teach David different skills than those that were Kevin's naturally. I believe that will be exciting an inspirational for Kevin, he will be highly motivated to work with a boxer who is 'designed' to fight from the outside but who also needs to be use to 'anchoring down' in his hips in order to throw the heavy punches that will develop in the arsenal of Joseph as he matures.

In one of the most 'perilous' of trades a boxer is always going to be judged by his next fight, so it is with some anxiety that the public will watch Parker square off with the venerable journeyman and former contender Botha - the man who exposed our 'National Heavyweight' Champion earlier this year as not being durable under heavy punishment. An exciting night beckons, though I expect for many the expectation abroad will be for a good effort for the young heavyweight, a credible win, and further progress in what it is hoped will be a long career to match or exceed that of another South Auckland young man of earlier times.