Karam must reveal aid funding, says judge
Tue, 24 Jul 2012 1:39p.m.
A judge has ruled Joe Karam must reveal how much Legal Aid funding he got as part of David Bain's defence team, as two Robin Bain supporters defend themselves against a defamation suit.
Mr Karam is suing Kent Parker and Vic Purkiss over statements made on the Facebook Justice for Robin Bain page and the Counterspin website in 2010.
In 1995 David Bain was convicted of the murder of his five Dunedin family members, including his father Robin.
The conviction was quashed by the Privy Council and he was acquitted following the retrial in 2009.
Following legal arguments in the High Court at Auckland last week, in a decision released today, Justice Patricia Courtney knocked back most of Mr Parker and Mr Purkiss's discovery requests.
They had asked for emails and letters between Mr Karam and Arthur Allan Thomas, documents about engaging witnesses for the second Bain trial, Legal Aid correspondence and documents about the sale of books about the Bain case.
Mr Parker had argued they would help prove the truth of their statements.
But Justice Courtney said they were "not entitled to fish for some other defence".
However, she did say Mr Karam should provide documents which show how much he received from Legal Aid.
Justice Courtney also ruled Mr Parker and Mr Purkiss must supply more documents about setting up the websites, removed material and material available in private sections.
The case is going to trial, and will be heard by a judge alone. The defendants are expected to call two dozen witnesses.
The parties will meet again in the first week of October to review progress.
Meanwhile, Mr Bain's camp is not commenting on the visit to New Zealand of retired Canadian judge Ian Binnie, who is assessing Mr Bain's claim for compensation for wrongful imprisonment.
The judge is in New Zealand this week conducting interviews, including with Mr Bain.
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