Saturday, October 8, 2016

Arthur Taylor asks why me?

I don't know if that was exactly verbatim. But I have been told Arthur Taylor's most forceful question to the Court in his recent appearance to lift the name of secret witness 'C' was to ask why it was him, and not police, bringing charges against witness C, who I shall refer to as the hipster, so not to confuse him with other letters of the alphabet used to hide the names of other such witnesses relevant to the proceedings as they will unfold in the Hipster's forthcoming trial

What a poignant question that reveals how much the Justice System is upside down when it comes to secret witnesses. They can absolutely appear to lie and never be charged. Never has a secret witness been charged in NZ before over any matter relating to their evidence or the deal they did with police for money, favours or freedom. The Hipster would not have been the exception if not for Taylor so I believe his question should be answered.

How is that Hipster gave evidence in such a convincing way that some Jury's members in the Tamihere double murder trial were reduced to tears? Justice Fogarty had to deal with that results of that question which arose from the Hipster giving convincing evidence that was all lies. He told of Tamihere confessing to raping and killing the couple before dumping them at sea, he gave sordid details that understandably upset some Jurors in their shocking detail. Later one of the bodies would be recovered on land with different injuries from that which the Hipster had explained in detail, also the bodies were found miles away from where police and Hipster said the assaults and murders took place.

The story of the Hipster began almost 20 years earlier, or at least the police practice of planting evidence as recorded as generally becoming first noted in the Thomas case. A case which was also a double murder for which Thomas was eventually pardoned. Later, in the report from a Royal Commission that followed the pardon, it was concluded that evidence had been planted in order to convict Thomas, and that police had brought secret witnesses to the Royal Commission to 'prove' Thomas was in fact guilty. That didn't work because the Commission decided the witnesses, both prison inmates at some time, were lying - just as Taylor says the Hipster lied. Those were definitely not the first 2 prison inmates that had sung for their supper but from simple deduction in time it could be seen that police were willing to enlist the help of lying inmates.

So there would be little surprise that one of the younger detectives working on the Thomas case would some 20 or so years later, when in charge of the Tamihere inquiry, find not 2, but 3 inmates, lining up to say that Tamihere confessed a double murder to them, such was the reward for lying appreciated by prison narks and their enablers like John Hughes. It appears that Hughes helped the Hipster get early parole from a life sentence for 2 murders which he had pleaded guilty to, although he reoffended and continues to serve a life sentence. It was Hughes that found a watch in the family home of David Tamihere. He was also responsible for what was obviously harassment of Tamihere's wife and children. That watch linked Tamihere to the murders, was identified as being the same or similar to that of the missing Urban Hoglin by his family. It was around about then, I suspect, that many NZers paying attention to the trial became convinced of Tamihere's guilt. Around 2 years later when Urban's body was found in bush some 64ks from where the Hipster said he had been sexually assaulted and buried, not only did the body revealed different injuries that the Hipster had so gruesomely detailed but also the missing watch was still attached to the body.

What was revealed then were not only the lies of the Hipster but the total callousness in which the Hughes led inquiry treated David Tamihere's family. It struck me then as cruel and was brought home exactly how much the mistreatment had extended when I recently watched a video where David Tamihere's father, wife and son were interviewed. As far as I know they have never been apologised to, which sits just the same as Arthur Thomas, his family and his late ex wife Vivian who was accused of feeding the baby Rochelle after the totally fictitious claim that Arthur had killed her parents because her mother Jeanette had never opened a gift from Arthur when they were younger. How Arthur would know that gift was never opened has never been clear, what was clear is that the Thomas family were falsely besmirched by the same police who planted evidence against Arthur.

At the hearing for the application to lift the name supression of the Hipster there was a case mentioned as precedent, that of Travis Burns who was paid $30,000 to provide evidence against a long term friend of his, Chris Lewis, for the murder of Tania Furlan. Lewis committed suicide and Burns went onto kill Joanne McCartney in what many commentators have said was an identical crime to that Burns alleged of Lewis who had maintained his innocence before killing himself. If that is correct then that was another double murder in this deepening quagmire, but in the Burn/Lewis case around 2 years apart between the deaths. One man rewarded and going on to be convicted of a second murder of the same type he laid blame against Lewis for. Following Burns conviction police responded with an internal inquiry  from which they concluded that although the crimes were similar they were not both committed by 'their man' Burns. Arthur Taylor may have been busy robbing banks around that time, however I wonder what he would have made of the similarities in the 2 files police said didn't match.

Of course the progression of these double murder links with secret witness were not of concern to Fogarty J hearing the application to lift name suppression of the Hipster. So he would presumably not have been mindful of a fourth such case, that of Scott Watson. Watson was also convicted, in part, by the testimony of 3 secret witnesses. Or the fifth that happened just last year in the case of Mark Lundy who was retried following a decree by the Privy Council that he had suffered a Miscarriage of Justice and had his conviction from the early 2000s quashed. When he was retried last year suddenly a secret witness emerged claiming, as in Watson, Tamihere, Lewis and Thomas - yes a confession. There seem to be so many confessions being given to secret witnesses from prison that authorities could be considering confessionals.

So the depth of Arthur's question as to why it should be him bringing alleged perjurers to the Court and not police is evidenced in not 1 case but at least 5 is revealed. That's because police didn't charge the perjurers whose evidence was rejected by the Thomas Royal Commission,  they didn't charge the Hipster, didn't charge Burns, didn't charge any of the witnesses in Watson - despite one recanting, something which the police chose to ignore to keep their convictions against Watson safe, and didn't charge the witness in Lundy who heard 'his' confession from Lundy in the sentenced prisoners yard before Lundy was even sentenced. Why would police bat an eyelid, afterall they have been allowing their special witnesses to get away with perjury for years, since the 1960s if a starting point begins with the Thomas false convictions.

Justice Fogarty wrestled with this tiger and decided, most would agree rightly, that he would continue the suppression of the Hipster's name and that if the Hipster was convicted, as Burns was for another murder, that he couldn't blame on his own mate Lewis, then the Hipsters name might well be revealed just as Burn's name was. I say rightly because it is a tool for police to use informers whether I or others like it or not. But with that tool has come corruption of the highest order, not least that police have never once charged a lying secret witness. They don't want to charge them for fear others may not provide evidence in the future. In fact, in practice, police provide lying secret witnesses with immunity even though they don't have the power to do so, they do this by omission of their duty to uphold the Law. In ignore their sworn duty in such way is breaking the integrity of the Law in another. The message is out and has been for 40 years, do a deal with the cops, lie if necessary, even be encouraged to lie and nothing but good will happen for you if you have no conscience.

How far Taylor maybe able to lift the lid on this dark world where the good and bad guys play each other's roles is debatable. However, from some inference and information discussed in the Auckland High Court 2 weeks ago, the lid could blow right off the pot under it's own pressure. Maybe then Arthur will have his answer and the public for the first time have the opportunity to look into a very dark world kept secret by police, Courts and special witnesses.

I am of course am interested in what impact this may have on the administration of Justice in NZ, it cries out to be remedied. In the 1990s and early 2000s our Court of Appeal whitewashed the Tamihere case when the Hipster's lies were revealed. They said that his evidence not being truthful (or perhaps accurate) didn't matter. That isn't the function of a COA  that is the function of a Jury. No Judge or Judges are able to tell what impact was, or is, made on Juries by witnesses so persuasive, as in Tamihere and Watson, at least, capable of being able to make a Jury cry with absolute lies. The pattern of the lies began in Tamihere as far as I know where police feed details, or the witnesses pick them up from the news media and provide compelling testimony garnered with despicable gross acts difficult for any Juror, any person, to divorce from their mind. Particularly a Juror, how can a Court measure the depth of false testimony - it is an Injustice that they deem even to be able to do so.

In conclusion I will answer at least part of Arthur's question of 'why is  it me that has to bring the prosecution' - with the answer that it is because it is he (Taylor) who has taught himself respect of the Law and the sanctity of the truth before it. The same person taken away from his family for wagging school over 4 decades ago when Arthur Thomas was first put into the dungeons of Mt Eden based on lies.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Scott Watson innocent in Kiwi language.

The biggest surprise for me watching the TV1 show Doubt on Scott Watson last night were the yachties. Like everyone with  an interest in the case I had heard all the controversy about the Ketch that Guy Wallace dropped Olivia Hope and Ben Smart off  for the night. I had heard about the 'stepping up' rather than 'stepping down' across as it would have been had the group been alighting to Scott Watson's yacht The Blade.

But I had never heard Guy Wallace give his account with all the small detail which gave him credibility, nor had I understood fully the police attitude to him for not 'changing his story.' Nor heard from Scott's father and sister as to their experiences during the inquiry but mostly the explanations about the alleged cleaning of The Blade allegedly after Olivia and Ben's disappearance where it was revealed Scott and his sister had cleaned The Blade before the night the couple went missing. I had read about the claims that Scott had painted his boat after the disappearances but not that it was painted the with a stripe, the same or similar colour to that of the mystery ketch - both important facts that Ian Wishart omitted in his recent book Elementary.

Suddenly Guy Wallace and Roz McNally became real people with a measure of their personalities, honesty and indeed decency being displayed - the very same 2 witnesses used and coerced by police before they spoke out after the trial and said there identifications of SW had been incorrect, that they had either been misled or duped by police causing them to be mistaken. Both honest people whom it would be possibly easier for them to lie now rather than be tormented by something out of their control - but that is the people they are, average Kiwis with a sense of right and telling the truth.

However the TV1 show Doubt introduced by Chris Gallivan had more cats to let out of the bag which to me were an even more shocking than the character attacks against Guy and Roz if only by sheer size of the numbers from the New Zealand yachting fraternity. New Zealand is a group of isolated islands populated for less than a 1000 years, everything about New Zealand relates to the sea it bought our first inhabitants, it was and remains our passage to the world of commerce and livelihoods. New Zealanders are water people possibly second to none. New Zealand is a leading yachting nation, if not the leading yachting nation. New Zealanders excel in all sports related to boats, kayaks, yachts, etc designing and building. Generations of New Zealanders grow up with associations with the water, love to look at boats or any activity on the water as though doing so releases something inside of them, something like an affinity not just to the water and boats but the passage of the water and the sea that leads to a sense 'of community in isolation.'

When on the water New Zealanders change, it almost as though a clock turns back, respect for the water and it's dangers are foremost, secondly, would surely be for others sharing the water - New Zealanders naturally look out for one another when it comes to water. On the water there is no distinction, a person one meets might be a freezing worker or a doctor, an observer would be hard pressed to tell. Worker or doctor act or dress no differently to one another, both look out for others on the water and are ready to lend a hand without hesitation - meet an implied duty, watch out, and always wave. There is no hiding on the water or attempts to hide, no chance that help will not be offered or warnings given, all responsibilities are shared, often forcefully if required - each life on the water is precious. Of course there are exceptions and I am waxing lyrical somewhat but the sense of what I am writing about is real.

Just as the shock at hearing the many New Zealanders seen on the show Doubt were real as they were sharply brought into focus. These were people remaining upset 17 years after going to police in response to a call for help to find a double masted ketch. These were people that would, even with fear, help rescue others on the water, people who looked at passing vessels with keen interest, at every detail - they were salt of the earth boaties and yachties, some that wore clothes with paint marks on them and old sandshoes, others that wore the latest style of sunglasses and cut fine figures of fashion all treating one another the same just as the sea treats them with calmness and wild weather equally. Whilst I truly felt sorry for the Watson family, for the witnesses such McNally and Wallace who told the truth, the neighbour of the Watsons who refused to spy on them for police - I felt overwhelmingly sorry for those witnesses who did what was required of them as people who shared the water, who responded in a crisis and who were rubbished, not believed, told that they were either lying or mistaken.

I suppose that got to me as it caused me to remember as a child my father helping an Uncle build a boat, when for the first time I got the feeling of how New Zealanders committed to one another with boats and the water. Recalled how I later saw conversations on the water between boaties about where the fish were, or changes of weather, often talk about details of  a launch or yacht, discovered that it was normal to wave out even to people you didn't know. The same people you would help, or who would help you in a heartbeat despite that you may never see them again or had not seen them before. Those people that saw a Ketch weren't lying and weren't mistaken. How can I know that? Simple, there were too many of them, they were too knowledgeable and they had no reason to be poking their noses above the stockades, they knew too much informed detail - they had seen something they could never forget, they backed up Guy Wallace's critical account as to where he dropped off the couple. They also, most unfortunately, were rubbish by police after having been asked to come forward. After watching Doubt we know this coincided with Rob Pope taking over the inquiry into the missing couple. Many will feel, like me, that as a helmsman for the truth he sucks.

Moving on to the end of the show I was disappointed Chris Gallivan, who had presented the show so well.  who is also a Law Professor, specialising in criminal law - I think I heard him say, was without any ideas where the Watson case might now go. This after he so eloquently described the pre-conditioning the public and potential jurors got from Rob Pope which most certainly appears likely to have influenced the jury even if subconsciously.  When after the show a commentator on a blog site wrote that the Jury would not have been influenced by the secret witnesses who claimed that Watson confessed to them. No one can know that. Explanations that the Jury would have been warned about accepting the evidence also don't cut the mustard, one of them has recanted that is what is important and that a Jury never heard that or had the opportunity to hear what Roz and Guy now say that they never identified Watson, that they were tricked by police or bullied. Scott Watson was never given a fair trial, nor was he given a fair hearing of his Application for the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, neither situations stand up under the NZ Bill of Rights, the Watson case is a travesty of Justice - those yachties were never heard from, not one of them (from what I know) because Rob Pope knew they were mistaken,  despite that is actually not his decision to make that is a decision for a Jury to listen and observe from their own experiences.

The programme touched on the critical evidence of the 2 hairs said to have been found on a blanket taken off The Blade by police. There was an admission by the scientist that there was a possibility of contamination, something well known to a lot of New Zealanders and to the Jury, who also heard that the extremely long blond hairs were missed by police searching The Blade and also by the scientist who carefully searched the blanket and who only them found after a subsequent search, just like happened in 2 other cases of Miscarriages of Justice were evidence was found after first searches - Thomas and Bain. The show did not mention that the same day the hairs were 'found' police had brought a hair brush to the science lab which the sisters had used.

Also what the show didn't reveal was that the 2 hairs could have belonged to Olivia's sister as well and been the subject of innocent transfer, or indeed been planted like the Thomas shell case was and like the Bain glass lens was. The show didn't disclose what would have been unknown to the producers and writers - the following:

The document states that “microscopic hair comparison has been demonstrated to be a valid and reliable scientific methodology,” while noting that “microscopic hair comparisons alone cannot lead to personal identification and it is crucial that this limitation be conveyed both in the written report and in testimony.” In support of its conclusion that hair examination is valid and reliable, however, the document discusses only a handful of studies of human hair comparison, from the 1970s and 1980s. The supporting documents fail to note that subsequent studies found substantial flaws in the methodology and results of the key papers. PCAST’s own review of the cited papers finds that these studies do not establish the foundational validity and reliability of hair analysis.
The DOJ’s supporting document also cites a 2002 FBI study that used mitochondrial DNA analysis to re-examine 170 samples from previous cases in which the FBI Laboratory had performed microscopic hair examination. But that study’s key conclusion does not support the conclusion that hair analysis is a “valid and reliable scientific methodology.” The FBI authors actually found that, in 9 of 80 cases (11 percent) the FBI Laboratory had found the hairs to be microscopically indistinguishable, the DNA analysis showed that the hairs actually came from different individuals.

So first of all there is the chance that the 2 hairs might have been transferred accidentally from either sister or a donor they may have come into contact with that busy night. The chances that the hairs arrived on the blanket after the scientist's research are unknown to me statistically at this stage but I shall endeavour to find out. There are questions over the 'validity and reliable scientific methodology' both with the blanket handling and searches, and the 'sampling sources' there is also an '11% chance, possibly higher with other variables confirmed' that the hairs if not accidentally transferred did not belong to either sister. All of this and the 19 or so creditable sightings of a Ketch should have been before a Jury that had never possibly been influenced by Pope's media campaign of  the alleged guilt of Watson before his trial.

.Scott Watson deserves a retrial. This Government has the power to recommend  by way of the Governor General a referral to the Court of Appeal. Let's hear from the voice of science about the probability of those 2 hairs being sufficient for a guilty verdict balanced against the word or McNally and Wallace and all those people out on the water who saw a ketch.