James Ihaka at the Herald reports:
Justice Minister Simon Power has turned down calls for an independent inquiry into a 40-year-old murder mystery. …
William Rowe, a spokesman for Arthur Allan Thomas, the man wrongly accused of murdering Jeanette and Harvey Crewe, wrote to the minister’s office supporting calls for an independent inquiry.
In the email he wanted to know who, on the balance of probabilities, murdered the Crewes.
He also asked if there was evidence to bring charges against anyone involved in the investigation for the wrongful arrest and convictions of Mr Thomas based on the Thomas Royal Commission findings in 1980.
“I plead with you to do the right thing and order an inquiry,” said Mr Rowe in the email.
“Justice is the most important thing in the world and every New Zealander has the right to have faith in the system, because it belongs to them, not the police.”
In response, Mr Power said he understood the interest in seeking closure, but his hands were tied. …
“Neither I nor my ministerial colleagues can direct the police to reopen the case.”
If the request has been made 30 years ago, or even 20 years ago, then I’d say go for it. BuSt I can’t imagine in 2010, an inquiry could come to any useful conclusions. Finding out who, on the balance of probabilities, murdered the Crewes, would have been possible when key people were alive, but at least two of the suspects are dead.
So on this issue, I think the Minister has made the right decision, in fact almost the only decision possible.
The case that I do think should have had a full Commission of Inquiry is the Peter Ellis case.