Maori Party candidate charged with helping murderer

April 16th, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Ian Steward at Stuff reports:

Auckland lawyer and political candidate has been charged with illegally smuggling contraband to convicted murderer and rapist , who she believes is innocent.

Murray lost her name suppression today after she and her lawyer Barry Hart had battled for months to keep her name secret.

Murray was charged with delivering an iPhone 4, a packet of Marlboro cigarettes and a Bic lighter to Reid at Mount Eden prison on October 7 last year – two months after a smoking ban was introduced.  

She had a new charge laid earlier this month of “holding a communication with him that might prejudice the safe custody of a prisoner” – in essence, passing on inappropriate information.

Reid is serving one of New Zealand’s heaviest sentences for the 2007 rape and murder of deaf Christchurch woman Emma Agnew and the rape and attempted murder of another woman in Dunedin soon after.

He was originally sentenced to preventive detention with a 26-year minimum period, but that was later reduced to 23 years on appeal.

Murray is understood to have visited Reid frequently and had communications with him at Mt Eden prison.

It is alleged that Reid was searched before one of their visits and had nothing on him, but after the visit he was found to have an iPhone, cigarettes and a lighter.

Murray stood for the Maori Party as a list candidate in the 2011 election.

She is a criminal barrister in the chambers of Hart, a prominent defence lawyer.

Hart had argued Murray should keep her name suppression as her reputation would be irreparably damaged and she and her family might suffer adverse consequences from being named.

Yes the reputation is damaged – if she is found guilty. And if she is guilty, her reputation should be damaged.

Liam Reid is not a good person. Even putting aside the rape and murder of Emma Agnew and the Dunedin rape, he had 61 previous convictions before that.  If she is found guilty, the Maori Party should dump her as a candidate.

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38 Responses to “Maori Party candidate charged with helping murderer”

  1. dubya (224 comments) says:

    Worse still; she was charged with this crime before the 2011 election, the Maori Party look to have covered this up (it’s hard to beleive they didn’t know). At least NZ First had the guts to dump the guy who drank his own urine before the polling day!

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  2. wreck1080 (3,807 comments) says:

    Cannot comment on this case at all, other than to say the Emma Agnew murderer was particularly brutal.

    To me the worst criminals should be punished foremost and not rehabilitated. If we cannot have the death penalty against people like reid , clayton weatherston, and graham burton then at least we should have jail until death option.

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  3. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    I would never suggest that the Maori Party should dump her. Much preferable that they keep her and defend every day why they have so little respect for the NZ Law.

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  4. Punter Pete (10 comments) says:

    Okay, do we wait till she’s convicted or hang her now just in case she’s guilty?

    Maybe the Maori Party believes in the “innocent till proven guilty” philosophy?

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  5. tvb (4,254 comments) says:

    There are professional implications quite independent of the criminal charges. Though I assume the Law Society will suspend any inquiry into her conduct while the charges are before the Court though, maybe not, such is the seriousness of the allegations. There is an issue that maybe she should be suspended from practice or have some restrictions placed on her, though it appears this action has NOT been taken.

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  6. lastmanstanding (1,241 comments) says:

    Oh How surprising. Yet another crooked lawyer

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  7. tvb (4,254 comments) says:

    Yes quite lastmanstanding but that is why the law society needs to be quite decisive here. This case goes to the heart of the Corrections Department giving Lawyers ready access to prisoners.

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  8. alex Masterley (1,498 comments) says:

    Some general comments.

    The complaints section of the law society will be aware of the charges against Ms Murray.

    Any investigation by one of the Auckland Standards Committees will be put on hold pending the determination of the charges laid against against Ms Murray. This is because criminal prosecutions take priority over disciplinary charges laid by professional bodies.

    If she is found guilty I expect that the enquiry will proceed.

    The Standards Committee is able prosecute Ms Murray in the Discplinary Tribunal as the charge has as a potential penalty a period of up to 6 months imprisonment. I am not going to predict an outcome as the criminal charges have not been determined.

    Even if she is found not guilty the standards committee may investigate in any event.

    Quite apart from the possibility of disciplinary proceedings Ms Murray will have to ackowledge these charges when she applies for a renewal of her practicing certificate later in the year.

    There is the distinct possibility that her application for a practicing certifcate will receive a bit more attention that would ordinarily be the case.

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  9. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    Yes heaven forbid that her reputation might be irreparably damaged by her criminal actions

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  10. tvb (4,254 comments) says:

    Ms Murray may fail the criteria required for a renewal of her practicing certificate and I assume it will be closely looked into when or if she reapplies. What she has been accused of affects the reputation of ALL lawyers wanting access to prisons to see prisoners. The Law Society needs to consider the reputation of lawyers when looking into Ms Murray’s renewal of her practicing certificate.

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  11. Chuck Bird (4,765 comments) says:

    “The Law Society needs to consider the reputation of lawyers when looking into Ms Murray’s renewal of her practicing certificate.”

    We can save a lot of tax money if we get rid of courts and try everyone on Kiwiblog.

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  12. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    The weird part seems to be the release of information that she allegedly believes Reid to be innocent, or even identifying the inmate. Is that meant to propose she is trying to claim some kind of mitigation, wouldn’t think she would do that but it’s in the public arena now. Or are the Crown trying to influence opinion against her. Is it in any way the public interest that the prisoner be named other than to potentially bring a greater element of notoriety into her alleged offending.

    I see DPF concentrating on Reid being the prisoner so I do wonder abut the aspect of naming the prisoner.

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  13. calendar girl (1,203 comments) says:

    Thanks for that summary, Alex – very helpful. Ms Murray is not guilty, of course, unless there is a conviction against her in her criminal prosecution. I’m sure most of us would accept that.

    In an employment situation, pending the outcome of her criminal case, Ms Murray would potentially be suspended by her employer (probably on full pay) before consideration was given ultimately to her suitability for ongoing employment. In most cases the employer would be justified in acting in this way to protect its customers and /or suppliers and / or other staff members.

    Why does the Law Society not take a similar course of action in situations like this, suspending the charged lawyer’s practising certificate until the Society is convinced that the person is suitable to be trusted as a servant of the Courts? Yes, the lawyer concerned would not be able to earn handsome professional fees, but there is no reason why he or she should not undertake a more mundane temporary job to eat regularly. On the surface of the present case, it could be interpreted that the Law Society is being careful to protect its member’s income while she is under suspicion of serious wrongdoing, rather than acting to protect the best interests of the public and the judicial system.

    Nostalgia NZ, the default position in our justice system is that persons accused of crimes are named in open court. Sadly, it has become all too common for specious exceptions to the general rule to be invoked by judges for the “rich and famous”, even for someone who “makes people laugh”. What you seem to be proposing is perpetuation of that kind of discrimination – one law for us plebs, but different considerations for those in positions of power, influence or political / professional / social respectability. No thanks.

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  14. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Ms Murray is not guilty, of course, unless there is a conviction against her in her criminal prosecution. I’m sure most of us would accept that.

    Actually, no.

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  15. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    I wonder which headline is more relevant:
    Stuff – “Lawyer charged with prison smuggling”
    Kiwiblog – “Maori Party candidate charged with helping murderer”

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  16. tvb (4,254 comments) says:

    One aspect of this is concerning me and that is in what capacity did Ms Murray get access to the prisoner. If she visited him in a personal capacity but (ab)used her privilege in getting a lawyers access to the prisoner, that might be grounds for professional criticism of her actions. And abuse of that privilege might be sufficient to take decisive action against Ms Murray. I am quite steamed up about this.

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  17. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    calender girl

    I made no objection about her being named. But I do dispute the need for some of the details released, such as her apparent belief that he’s innocent, what could that have to do with the charges laid against her. Reid’s name, and details, are mentioned at least as many times as Murray in the release above.

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  18. kapiti (11 comments) says:

    I’m confused…2x murders, convicted by a jury on both…60 previous convictions (shows he’s not unfamiliar with crime/police/courts/prison etc etc) and a LAWYER steps over the line and does something illegal. I have a cpl of questions here..

    1: Is she single, and simply fell for this guys charm? (meaning no one paid her any attention, as a woman, in her life?)
    2: If she passed Info, that let him intimidate from in prison, why was this not front page news.

    What is the most creepy, yes creepy, aspect is Maori Party (Pita) gave a ‘she’s all right’ endorsement of her for her defence…really!!, OMG, do Mana Party/Maori Party REALLY believe all maoris charged with crimes are innocent, and HAVE to back them because they are Maori?…is this what NZ has become?, If Maori Party have backed this woman and proved to be guilty (still subjudice) will/should an apology, be made public by Pita/MP, if she found guilty…or once again…rule for the browns, another for the whites?

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  19. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    tvb

    Okay. Have the details lead to all sorts of speculation before she is even tried, appears so.

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  20. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    Not that anyone needs reminding, but Liam Reid posed as a car buyer to 20 year old Emma Agnew who was deaf. He abducted her, stuck a sock in her mouth, raped her, suffocated her and dumped her body in the middle of nowhere. Then he travel to Dunedin, and raped another woman while holding a rope around her neck, who I don’t doubt he’d easily have killed. He cannot feel remorse or empathy.

    What type of evil woman wants a guy like that free on the streets? Why would anyone defend such a piece of shit?

    Many Maori wonder why they are often the perpetrators and victims of crimes – it’s partly because they excuse such criminal behaviour. Not just in this extreme case, but you see it all the time “he’s a good boy”, “the cops are being hard on him because he’s shoplifted there before”.

    This woman arrogantly thinks she knows better the everyone else, because she’s seen his eyes and he’s told her “I didn’t do it”. (It’s the same with people who think Bain didn’t slaughter his family in cold blood.) So she overrules the courts, and sneaks an iPhone to this filthy shitstain, (who I believe should never see the light of day again), because in her mind the court’s decision is wrong.

    I hope the Maori Party will take more ownership of this than Christian Heritage did with Graham Capill, or Labour did over Philip Field and Darren Hughes, but she’s only a list candidate. I wonder more about how someone so munted in the head can become a lawyer.

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  21. tvb (4,254 comments) says:

    David sees a political problem for the Maori Party, I see a professional problem for the reputation of lawyers. I am fabbergastered the Maori Party had her no 6 on their list when these charges were pending.

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  22. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    ‘Not that anyone needs reminding, but….’
    Even more speculation, enlarged this time by somebody that knows what Murray ‘arrogantly thinks.’
    It appears she should have had suppression after all.

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  23. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    I am fabbergastered the Maori Party had her no 6 on their list when these charges were pending.

    It is to your credit that you believe Maori Party voters would be put off by such behaviour. And rather sweet.

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  24. Keeping Stock (10,177 comments) says:

    I see she works for Barry Hart. Mr Hart has legal problems of his own at the moment, and in an interesting parallel with this case, was refused name suppression. I’d suggest that Mr Hart’s practice might be one better to be avoided.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6412090/Lawyer-Barry-Hart-faces-misconduct-charges

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  25. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    keeping stock

    I think that’s already been mentioned today, but don’t be deterred.

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  26. calendar girl (1,203 comments) says:

    Nostalgia: Your comment at 5.42 seemed to question the Court’s naming of the accused.

    When I challenged your proposition, you replied at 6.38: “I made no objection about her being named.”

    By 7.20 you were back to saying: “It appears she should have had suppression after all.”

    I think I interpreted you correctly the first time. You’re on the side of selective name suppression by the Court.

    I remain on the side of open and transparent justice, and equality for all before the law.

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  27. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    She visited him 80 times in 9 months…How can these be professional visits?

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  28. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    calender girl
    8.05

    Clever, sort of.
    ‘Seeming,’ has no value 5.42. Doesn’t even appear in the post.

    But 7.20 is affirmative of my question as to the release of details and where that might lead.

    So far, we have Murray guilty because she ‘believes’ Reid is innocent, or somehow supports the crimes of which he is convicted.
    We have queries about the capacity under which she visited Reid.
    As you might see Reid is as much part of the allegations against Murray than the charge she gave him cigarettes, a lighter and an ipod. For a sceptic, a rather convenient and bulky collection of items to be introduced to a prison, as well as rather more convenient to obtain than illicit drugs or weapons by a member of the bar, or someone within the prison.
    We additionally have questions about the Maori party, without any proof of when they knew about the allegations.
    Added is the relationship of her employment.

    Finally in response to what you say, we do have selective name suppression based on various considerations of a Judge. That’s the Law. There’s no equality in a person, whether they be a lawyer, or a road worker, having material put abroad that could influence due process.

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  29. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    joana
    8.27

    Well very doubtful that they could be professional visits if the number you claim is correct, and impossible as private visits if they were since he was convicted. Where is that information?

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  30. gump (1,553 comments) says:

    How would an inmate charge an iPhone in a jail?

    I wouldn’t have thought that inmates could gain access to electrical sockets?

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  31. calendar girl (1,203 comments) says:

    Nostalgia: You’re fudging. What you really seek is name suppression until this accused person is ultimately convicted, and you probably also want that situation to apply to defendants in general. So much for your less-than-frank comment at 6.38: “I made no objection about her being named.”

    You’re now using mere press reports and blog posts to invent an image of a widespread conspiracy to convict this woman unfairly. Why can’t you just wait and allow the Court to adjudicate on the facts that are produced in evidence?

    Fortunately for the sake of our generally sound criminal justice system, name suppression as the default is not going to happen. In fact, the Government is moving to curtail the repugnant practice of indulgent judges frequently granting interim name suppression to defendants who are ‘privileged’ by virtue of fame, wealth or position – that will include, I trust, professionals such as barristers.

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  32. Bogusnews (461 comments) says:

    Seems a fairly low key response from the media re this. I can’t imagine the publicity if this was an ACT candidate (think Dave Garrett). It sounds like a pretty serious lapse of judgement here.

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  33. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    calender girl

    It’s you doing the fudging. You want Murray tried in the media. I object to details being canvassed which are only of prejudicial value. I’m happy to wait for the Courts, indeed that is the proper place for the details, which a court determines are relevant to be heard. Not sensational crap that Murray may have smuggled something to a prisoner because she believes him to be innocent.

    You get on your high horse about name suppression, that’s not my argument but one you introduced. Those ‘mere’ press reports have already painted a picture that is probably far from the truth, and that isn’t Justice.

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  34. Nostalgia-NZ (5,044 comments) says:

    Having just read the Herald I must withdraw my objections as to the scope of the details released by the media because it’s evident she put them abroad herself. Joana was correct about the number of times Murray had visited Reid and one interpretation is that the relationship, according to what Murray is reported as having said herself, may not be a normal lawyer client one.

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  35. scanner (340 comments) says:

    Lie down with dogs – get up with fleas.

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  36. Paulus (2,562 comments) says:

    Can I assume she was on Legal Aid payments when she visited the convicted prisoner 60 odd times.

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  37. GPT1 (2,103 comments) says:

    Yes if she is found guilty her reputation should be damaged (in fact her practicing certificate should be in jeopardy) but she has not been but she is effectively convicted in the court of public opinion and a subsequent acquital (if there was one) is going to do little to rectify it.

    If found guilty publication is an effective part of the deterrence but I have yet to see a headline “Mr X presumed innocent of charge”

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  38. alex Masterley (1,498 comments) says:

    GPT1,

    Her practicing certificate is in jeopardy if she is found guilty, as is her presence on the roll of practitioners.
    I am not relying on the media for correct reporting of the case as experience tells me it will be wrong

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