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Karam: Govt using Bain as a 'pawn'

Thursday 31 Jan 2013 8:31 a.m.

By 3 News online staff, with additional reporting from NZN

David Bain has filed a claim seeking a judicial review of the Justice Minister Judith Collins' handling of a report into his compensation claim.

His supporters say Judith Collins' rejection of the report which found Mr Bain innocent on the balance of probabilities amounts to a breach of natural justice.

Long time supporter of Mr Bain, Joe Karam, says Mr Bain just wants the ordeal to be over.

"He's sick and tired of courts, of inquiries, of affidavits, of investigations," Mr Karam told Firstline this morning.

Ms Collins last year canned a report into Mr Bain's conviction by retired Canadian judge Ian Binnie which recommended he receive compensation.

A peer review by Robert Fisher QC which Ms Collins had requested found Justice Binnie's report was "fundamentally flawed".

"We thought that when Justice Binnie finished his work, that would be the end of the matter. We went into this in good faith with the Government and the Ministry of Justice, and we decided that whatever Justice Binnie said, that would be the end.

"And we know that the Government has got the discretion whether to pay David or not pay him, but we did not expect that David would become a pawn in some political game at some stage of the process."

Ms Collins says it would be "unacceptable" for Cabinet to award compensation based on Justice Binnie's report.

"That would not have resulted in justice for anyone, let alone Mr Bain."

Mr Karam disputes Ms Collins' claim that Justice Binnie's report contained factual errors and overstepped its mandate.

"I think the only thing that really the police and Crown Law, who are the people that provided her with what she said is 'wrong' with it, all they didn't like about the report is that it had the word 'innocent' in it, rather than 'guilty'. That's the only flaw in the report that I can find."

Despite Mr Bain's wish for the whole saga to be over, Mr Karam says he won't let the Government "walk all over" his rights.

"David Bain's the only one disadvantaged if this gets delayed any longer. It doesn't affect [the Government] if David's compensation claim goes on longer. He doesn't want it to take longer, but we just think that this should be dealt with and ruled upon by the court first.

"This judicial review is only about one thing – fairness."

The Government is not obliged to pay compensation but Mr Bain could receive about $2 million if a formula used by the Government in its last compensation payment is followed.

3 News / NZN

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