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Collins 'tried to undermine Bain report'

Friday 14 Dec 2012 5:19 a.m.

By Peter Wilson, NZN Political Writer

Justice Minister Judith Collins has been accused of trying to undermine a report which says David Bain should be paid compensation.

Retired Canadian Supreme Court judge Ian Binnie was commissioned to review the case and concluded Mr Bain should be compensated for wrongful conviction and 13 years in prison.

Ms Collins has effectively canned his $400,000 report, saying it is "fundamentally flawed" and she won't put it up to Cabinet.

She released the report on Thursday, along with a peer review by Robert Fisher QC which supports her numerous concerns about it.

Labour's justice spokesman, Charles Chauvel, says Ms Collins worked relentlessly to pick holes in Mr Binnie's reasoning.

"She has spent $100,000 of taxpayers' funds on a nit-picking review of the Binnie report, which itself cost over $400,000," he said.

"The documents that have been released show the extent of her behind-the-scenes interference to try to undermine the report."

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says Mr Binnie had to traverse the entire case and provided a very comprehensive report.

"I think she doesn't want to have to make the political decision about whether to grant compensation and she's looking for others to give her a way out," Ms Turei told NZ Newswire.

"The public won't tolerate her spending hundreds of thousands of dollars more just to get an answer she wants."

Ms Collins has issued a detailed account of what she considers to be serious errors in the report.

She says Mr Binnie was "markedly generous" to Mr Bain, excluded significant evidence and took a not guilty verdict as essentially proving innocence.

Ms Collins says there will have to be another report but she hasn't made any decisions about that.

NZN

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