Friday, July 8, 2016

Arthur Taylor: an abuse of process?

See below the question raised by Judge Gibson in ordering papers to be served on a prison informer alleging perjury. The Judge orders that the Crown (the secret witness was a Crown witness) should also be served with the papers in case the Crown might think that the intended prosecution is an abuse of process.

First of all because the private prosecution by Arthur Taylor is already heavily publicised its a reasonable assumption that the Crown are well informed that one of its star witnesses in a controversial murder case has been charged with perjury. Judge Gibson comments about the possibility the Crown might see the charge as collateral damage against the Jury's verdict. Which all sounds very good if it weren't for the fact that the abuse of process has already occurred, it did when the body of missing tourist Urban Hoglan was found buried on land when in fact the witness gave gruesome details of the crimes included the body being dumped at see. The secret witness was so convincing with his lies that it is said to have resulted in some members of the Jury weeping. The Crown did nothing about those lies, absolutely nothing. If the secret witness is not guilty no doubt he will be able to convince a Jury of his innocence, but I don't like his chances. Just as I don't like the Crown's chances of objecting to the proceeding. They have no standing in the prosecution as far as I am aware, they are not a party. Clearly they could have been a party by charging the secret witness but inexplicitly forgave their witness his blatant lies.

I expect that it may be revealed that Taylor himself has an opinion as to whether the Crown are a party. No doubt he will also have an opinion that it was the failure of the Crown to prosecute their own witness when Urban's body was found buried, with no injuries consistent with the witnesses account wearing a watch which police said they found in the bedroom of Tamihere's son that more than likely was planted there to aid the prosecution - which is the abuse of process in this case.

Perjury is described as striking at the heart of Justice, for prosecuting authorities to ignore perjury by at least not putting the case before the Court when it was plain the secret witnesses evidence was not true strikes deeper into the heart of Justice. That's why I'm surprised that Judge Gibson first of all could consider that the Crown might not be aware of the charges against their witness. It was the Crown who already declined to charge the witness. Overtime it could well prevail that the Crown are recognises as a party in an entirely different way that Judge Gibson noted, but were rather a party to an attempt to pervert the course of Justice when they decided not to prosecute after his evidence was shown to be lies, and also did not investigate how police had so readily, and willingly, purchased untrue evidence. Surely, the case of witness C already revealed that paid informers should never give evidence. Of course there could be some other explanation such as that Tamihere was lying to the secret witness in order to get himself convicted and that poor old witness C got tricked into helping convict Tamihere. Sure on that. Sure also on Judge Gibson's confusing about the parties in this case - there are only 2,  and the Crown is not one of them.

To the broader picture  where at the moment the Crown say they cannot charge Rewa for killing the woman he was convicted of raping Susan Burdett. This is after the 20 years when the police also 'could not' let the falsely imprisoned Teina Pora go for the murder that many people have considered for years that was committed by the lone wolf, serial rapist Rewa who had a history of attacking the head of some of his victims, perhaps to compensate for his erectile difficulties. Also in the Pora case, paid secret witnesses contributing to his false imprisonment - their paymasters, the police. With that in mind I'd be very surprised if police chose to hazard involving themselves in defending a witness C who evidence has already be proven to be false, and who is now facing a prosecution from a prison inmate. Yes a prison inmate charging a police witness with perjury because police wouldn't do it themselves. Somewhere along the line it seems inescapable that police don't want to lose their sacred cows - paid to lie witnesses. I would expect that the authorities would be concerned that if Taylor is successful in his prosecution the public will see that what Taylor would have achieved was something the police themselves could have done over a decade ago. It will strike another blow against the safe administration of Justice in NZ because it will more than certainly provide grounds for Tamihere to re-litigate his convictions, in particular because witness C will no longer be pivotal to the Tamihere conviction despite that the Court of Appeal already fumbled with an effort to overcome that.

For those that may not know dear witness C also twice attempted to involve himself in the Lundy case, and other such witnesses 'involved' themselves in the Watson convicted where, true to the age of modus operandi of such witnesses, an accused person happens to open up to strangers (prison inmates in fact) in cases which just happen to have weak evidence and a slim chance of success.


  1. You might be interested to know Judge Gibson has now ordered that Arthur's private prosecution can proceed.Witness C's first appearance is 30 August at Auckland D.C.Judge Gibson has noted the file that there is no "abuse of process".See "Stuff" story of last week.By all accounts ,David T is wrapt.As should everybody be who is interested in righting miscarriages of justice.

  2. Thanks for that I didn't know but have since found it on Stuff as you suggested. I, as I'm sure will many others, take a great interest in following this - I expect there could be a lot of hurdles and diversionary strategies put in place to assist Witness C. Though it is difficult for the Crown or police to be seen as protecting somebody who clearly lied under oath in exchange for assistance from the authorities. On the one hand the police need to seen to be looking after their secret witness or else others so disposed to lie for them will be less forthcoming, while on the other they've laid down with a dog in a manner which is clearly embarrassing to them to now have fleas. In a majority of cases where there is weak circumstantial evidence in a high profile case suddenly police entice a bird to start singing for supper. Paid for Justice by liars who will tell the story they are told to tell.

  3. Secret witness 'c' is appearing in Auckland High Court at 9.30 a.m. to see if his name suppression will be lifted.(in my private prosecution)That is tomorrow,10th August.

  4. I am hoping that in the course of this investigation that Mr Taylor is able to secure the official information notes on all the cases 'c' was involved with in order to establish any patterns helpful to the prosecution, in this case and perhaps the defence in others. In the circumstances, and because it is accepted that Mr Taylor is acting as an Officer of the Court and within the Prosecution guidelines set out for that purpose, all the information should be made available to him as a matter of ensuring Justice. We don't want information held back as it was in the John Banks case and other examples of miscarriages of justice.