The Press on Bain report

December 13th, 2012 at 9:41 am by David Farrar

editorial:

Collins’ announcement explaining why she had sought the review was candid, even sharp, but in the circumstances reasonable. The fact that she has had Binnie’s report since September had raised expectations that the matter would be put before the Cabinet and a decision announced before Christmas. It has also become well known, and has not been denied, that the report is favourable to Bain. The reasons for the delay needed to be explained and Collins did so in a characteristically forthright style.

It is worth noting that Collins did not seek publicity. It was in response to media inquiries that her statement was released as to why she sought a peer review. The announcement of Fisher was not made public, but inevitably leaked out.

Binnie’s report, she said, appeared to contain “assumptions based on incorrect facts, . . . showed a misunderstanding of New Zealand law . . . and lacked a robustness of reasoning used to justify its conclusions”. Binnie, perhaps unused from his lengthy term on Canada’s highest court to such direct comment, was stung by Collins’ remarks into responding. It was an unwise move.

By convention, judges never comment on their decisions once they are delivered. The decisions are taken to contain all the facts and reasoning required to be able to speak for themselves. Binnie is no longer a judge, of course, but in this procedure he is acting as one. Once he had delivered his report to Collins in September the function for which he was hired was over and he should have remained aloof from anything that ensued, whatever it was. It is unseemly and undignified of him to get into the mud and the dust of the political arena in the way he has done.

I think his response was a massive mistake. If he has confidence in his report, he should let that speak for itself.

If nothing else, it raises misgivings about his judgment. Fourteen long paragraphs in response to a terse couple of sentences from the minister looks weirdly disproportionate. In addition, questionable statements Binnie makes, particularly concerning the alleged views of the Privy Council on Bain’s guilt or innocence, look faulty enough to suggest that Collins’ doubts about the report are well-founded.

Again, I agree.

Collins said yesterday she was considering releasing the report along with the review of it this week. She says that both should be released together. While that would be ideal, she should go ahead and release Binnie’s report (both the original and the two subsequent versions that Binnie has given her unsolicited) whether the review is ready or not. The tumult is not going to die down, and rumour and surmise will fill the vacuum if she delays.

I understand there is a reasonable chance both the Binnie report/s and the Fisher report will be released tomorrow.

Also of note is this exchange in question time:

CHARLES CHAUVEL (Labour) to the Minister of Justice: What are the specific “assumptions” based on “incorrect facts” demonstrating some “misunderstanding of New Zealand law” that she alleges are contained in the report of Justice Binnie concerning the application by Mr Bain for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment?

Hon (Minister of Justice) : I stated in my media release that “My concerns are broadly that the report appeared to contain assumptions based on incorrect facts, and showed a misunderstanding of New Zealand law.” Prior to giving examples, I need to give just a little bit of context to this. I can advise the House that an independent peer review of the first Binnie advice is being done by the Hon Robert Fisher QC, and I am considering the public request made by Mr Bain’s supporters to release both these reports—or advice to me—before Cabinet has made its decision. One of the things I am considering is whether or not it is going to be in Mr Bain’s interests or in the interests of justice to do so. But in relation to the examples sought, there are many. I will give the House two of those. The first is relying on incorrect understanding of what has been given in evidence. In this case, Justice Binnie asserts that a named scientist testified at the first trial that he had chemically enhanced the prints and later sought to resile from this. The reference to chemical enhancement was an error on a label attached to a fingerprint, and this was explained as such by the named scientist at the retrial. A second example is in relation to assumptions as to the correctness of submissions on the law. Justice Binnie appears to have assumed to be correct Mr Karam’s submission that the adverse inferences should be drawn against the Crown case on the basis of evidence that is no longer available. This is incompatible with the onus of proof being on Mr Bain in this particular case, because this is, in fact, a request for Cabinet to use its discretion, and that is very clearly wrong.

Again, the reports will be interesting.

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93 Responses to “The Press on Bain report”

  1. Pete George (23,434 comments) says:

    “Justice Minister Judith Collins says she will release David Bain’s controversial compensation claim report after lunch today.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10853771

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  2. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Why should Binnie remain silent when his professional integrity is impugned for political reasons by some two bit rube from s small country at the end of the world?

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  3. RRM (9,774 comments) says:

    The Press:
    It is unseemly and undignified of him to get into the mud and the dust of the political arena in the way he has done.

    DPF:
    I think his response was a massive mistake. If he has confidence in his report, he should let that speak for itself.

    The Press:
    If nothing else, it raises misgivings about his judgment.

    Oh what bollocks.

    How can his report “speak for itself” when the report is not public, (and there’s no indication when, or indeed if, it will be) but Collins’ press release claiming his work’s shit and he’s wrong IS public for all to see??

    [DPF: Again, if he was confident his report stands up to scrutiny, he could have just said I want it released so people can see for themselves]

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  4. david (2,571 comments) says:

    What you (rightly) fail to mention but I will, was Chucky’s supplementary question.
    Like a little girl who has to try and have a snipe at the adult who has patiently provided an unarguable case for her not to get another Barbie doll he asked:

    Charles Chauvel: Having summarised some of her criticisms of Justice Binnie’s report, why does she not simply release it in full so that the taxpayers, who have already paid over $400,000 for it, can assess for themselves whether those criticisms are fair; or is the prospect of dropping it in the press gallery just before Christmas in the hope of a dead news period just too tempting for her?

    Just couldn’t help himself and turned what started as a reasonable question into something only worth ignoring for its pettiness..

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  5. flipper (3,949 comments) says:

    Yes David…
    And the ChCh Press is both competent and neutral?
    And you are NOT following the spin designed in the Beehive and espoused as recently as this morning by the boy MP from Auckland?
    Oh dear, what a mess Collins and the spinning masters have spun!

    So, an ex-Auckland tax lawyer (who still holds a Barrister’s practising certificate) gives one side of a dispute on which her constitutional office (Minister of Justice) has requested an independent report, three months to pick it apart, and produce a parcel of self- serving of minutiae that she chooses to accept and parrot, then claims legal privilege (on behalf of Finlayson as AG), then publicly flays the jurist who authored the report. And you say that in those circumstances the respected jurist made a big mistake when he cuts her down to size?
    Where are you?
    What are you on?

    If Binnie made a mistake it was that he trusted Collins to be even handed. He also respected publishers or trusted folk such as you to act impartially, print all the information and comment. But from the outset DPF, you have seemed determined to spin the line from the Beehive., Why?

    Like most uncommitted (except to due process) observers, I believe that involving Heron (aka the Crown’s side of the dispute) but not Bain’s advisors, was a big mistake. Certainly give the report to Heron. But ONLY if it is given to Bain/Reed/Karam simultaneously.

    Now Collins has announced that she will release the Binnie report and also the comment by a former judge (who resigned when his career stalled) this afternoon.
    The Crown et al, has had three months to consider Binnie’s report. Collins has reaffirmed her “impartiality” and lack of real, but honourable, political nouse, by giving Bain not three months, not three weeks, not three (3) days, but at this stage, no more than three hours- more likely minutes.

    And she holds the office of “Minister of Justice”. Some justice. Collins should resign.

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  6. Dexter (287 comments) says:

    A dignified response would have been fine. Unfortunately for Binnie the misrepresentations and insinuations he inserted in his response simply gave credence to Collins claims. And really calls into question the impartiality of someone who gets so easily led by emotion.

    Either way it’s a lose lose for Collins and the government given that they are the ones who hired him and if the report is as flawed as suggested, wasted the money in the first place.

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  7. labrator (1,898 comments) says:

    I didn’t think Binnie’s response was fit for a man of his stature. He’s had half of NZ fighting on his behalf, he shouldn’t have said anything until it was all out in the open. So what if someone unfairly criticises you while half the information is hidden? I particularly thought calling Collins a “former Auckland tax lawyer” instead of just “former lawyer” was just cheap shots from afar. Not what I’d expect from someone who apparently has so much experience and certainly not at that pay grade.

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  8. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    [DPF: Again, if he was confident his report stands up to scrutiny, he could have just said I want it released so people can see for themselves]

    FFS she said his report lacks a “robustness of reasoning”. That’s pretty much the biggest slap in the face for a judge whose whole job is to offer sound reasoning. If she is going to drag his name through the mud for political gain then it is reasonable for him to defend himself.

    Whether or not the report is released is not up to him and as he pointed out the person it should be released to is David Bain in the first instance. Y’know fair process and all.

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  9. BlairM (2,317 comments) says:

    Why should Binnie remain silent when his professional integrity is impugned for political reasons by some two bit rube from s small country at the end of the world?

    Pretending the reputation of the Canadian Supreme Court is any better is something akin to pretending a Grammy is a a serious and prestigious award. But I do note that the “two bit rube” is elected to represent our small country at the end of the world, while the Canuck represents nobody but himself. She has an obligation to the people of NZ to see justice done. His obligation is only to himself.

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  10. Elaycee (4,353 comments) says:

    Certainly give the report to Heron. But ONLY if it is given to Bain/Reed/Karam simultaneously.

    What bollocks. The previous Minister commissioned Binnie’s report. Not the Bain cheer squad. The current Minister asked for it to be peer reviewed (because of the obvious flaws). As such, the current Minister has every right to decide whether any reports should be released / which reports (and / or revisions) are to be released / when they would be released and to whom they are released.

    The cheer squad seem to think they have some pre-emptive claim to these reports. Newsflash: They don’t.

    Just as well that any taxpayer funded compensation is totally discretionary at Cabinet level, because the cheer squad would have us believe there is some sort of entitlement. Newsflash: There isn’t one!

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  11. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    BlairM,

    Obligation to the people of NZ? Oh pass the vomit bag. That’s a nice way of saying “do what is necessary to retain votes”. Next you’ll be singing the praises of that other great populist politician: Winston Peters!

    What does he get out of any of it? He hasn’t a stake in this fiasco. He was hired to do a job and then rubbished in the media by the person for whom he was working at the same time she keeps the report under wraps so that no one can assess the merits of her insults. If anybody should have kept their big fat trap shut it was her.

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  12. Chuck Bird (4,834 comments) says:

    FFS she said his report lacks a “robustness of reasoning”.

    I wonder how good judges reasoning considering they were lawyers firsts. Lawyer may have a high IQ but they do not adopt a scientific approach. There use only logic that promotes they view.

    Some judges could initially but unconsciously decide who is guilty or right and then reasoning kicks in to support thier initial view.

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  13. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “The Crown et al, has had three months to consider Binnie’s report. Collins has reaffirmed her “impartiality” and lack of real, but honourable, political nouse, by giving Bain not three months, not three weeks, not three (3) days, but at this stage, no more than three hours- more likely minutes.”

    What on earth are you talking about? Bain can take his time reading the reports. Firstly, a decision on compo won’t be made til next year. Secondly, and more importantly, the decision won’t be made by Karam and Co. Their thoughts on the reports will count for little or nothing. That’s as it should be.

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  14. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > the cheer squad would have us believe there is some sort of entitlement. Newsflash: There isn’t one!

    That is so true. Bain is not entitled to a brass razoo. And Karam’s faux outrage over David’s “distress” is nauseating. Bain was under no obligation to apply for compensation. Indeed, he could – if the process is so distressing – decide to withdraw his claim. Problem solved.

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  15. eszett (2,394 comments) says:

    [DPF: Again, if he was confident his report stands up to scrutiny, he could have just said I want it released so people can see for themselves]

    You mean the same way that Collins was confident it’s crap and waited for it to be published and to speak for itself?

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  16. dime (9,806 comments) says:

    “How can his report “speak for itself” when the report is not public”

    Hey RRM, say you were selling a house and I was a potential buyer. You go ahead and have a building report done by a guy with a pretty good reputation. It comes back and it has some glaringly obvious mistakes and says the house needs major repairs. You know for a fact the report is full of mistakes and is in a fine salable condition.

    In the interim, your agent tells me the report is done.

    do you

    A) – give Dime the report that says your house sucks cause it wont matter once i read the second opinion. thats the one ill go with.

    or

    B) – do you say “sorry, there is an issue with the report, im having another one done. once i have that ill give them both to you”.

    If you went with A, do you honestly think id care what the second report said? when it comes out a few weeks later….

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  17. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    It is worth noting that Collins did not seek publicity. It was in response to media inquiries that her statement was released as to why she sought a peer review.

    So Collins was forced – forced! – by the pesky media’s questions to say that Binnie had made errors of fact and law and that his reasoning was “not robust” … but that no-one could actually see this report to assess her claims because it is “privileged”. Poor Judith, to be so browbeaten by the mighty force of the press into saying such intemperate and condemnatory things!! I wonder how she can manage in such a high profile position, seeing as she is so easily pressured into acting.

    I think his response was a massive mistake. If he has confidence in his report, he should let that speak for itself.

    If by “massive mistake”, you mean severely embarrassed Collins, then yes. If you mean did harm to the NZ public’s view of him, then no. I think he’s pretty much wiped the floor with Collins in their exchanges, and the “massive mistake” was her decision to go toe to toe with a guy who can punch just as hard as she can. Case in point … does anyone think we’d be seeing the reports this afternoon (as opposed to a dump the week before Christmas/week after New Year) if Binnie hadn’t called Collins out on the unfairness of her review process?

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  18. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “Either way it’s a lose lose for Collins and the government given that they are the ones who hired him and if the report is as flawed as suggested, wasted the money in the first place.”

    On the contrary, the Government may see it as money well spent. If the only way that Bain’s “innocence” can be validated is by way of a second-rate report that’s based on a litany of factual errors and false assumptions, then Bain’s “innocence” is a sham.

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  19. RRM (9,774 comments) says:

    I see what you are saying Dime,

    but the general public of New Zealand is not going to walk away down the road and buy a different David Bain instead, during those few weeks the second report takes.

    And in the meantime, I haven’t been telling everybody in the pub and the supermarket and all over town Jim-Bob’s Building Inspections Ltd are a bunch of cunts and their work’s shit!

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  20. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    @dime,

    You know for a fact the report is full of mistakes and is in a fine salable condition.

    So, using your analogy, Collins IS just shopping around to get a report that says what she wants it to … she’s already decided Bain is guilty and won’t get compensation (ie the house is salable), so now she’s just looking for someone to tell her that?

    Which is fine – if she’d just front up and say “I’ve decided there will be no compensation because I have the authoritah!”, there’d be no problem. But she should then stop pretending to be “just following process”.

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  21. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “does anyone think we’d be seeing the reports this afternoon (as opposed to a dump the week before Christmas/week after New Year) if Binnie hadn’t called Collins out on the unfairness of her review process?”

    I’m sure we wouldn’t have, which begs the question as to why Collins has decided to release the reports all of a sudden. Clearly, Binnie’s criticism of her has struck a nerve.

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  22. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    I. Am. So. Sick. Of. The. Bain. Soap. Opera.

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  23. Nostalgia-NZ (5,097 comments) says:

    Typical from The Press. They’ve long held the ground of experts on the Bain case, yet they are the organisation that chose not to report critical evidence against Robin Bain.

    Glaring mistake in the editorial, The Press is still quoting 3 reports, the Minister’s position before she backtracked. Binnie wrote that there were changes in response to questions of him and would not have comprised of more than 2 pages – how 2 pages become 2 reports shows the butt covering going on. I think they wanted the reports suppressed for whatever reason they could find – even to the point of not allowing Michael Reed a copy so that he might have input.

    The two examples Collins gave in Parliament are day dream periphery stuff. The label on a bottle, and that David Bain had to somehow prove that evidence was destroyed which might have assisted his case. That point alone is significant because if honoured it invites The Crown to throw away or destroy evidence – 3rd world here we come.

    Weihana: ‘If anybody should have kept their big fat trap shut it was her.’

    Like our dear host she might be a supporter of those sites being sued.

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  24. James Stephenson (2,139 comments) says:

    Pretending the reputation of the Canadian Supreme Court is any better…

    It’s just a pity that when our own Make-shit-up-as-you-go-along Supreme Court find some reason to agree with the Maori Council, there won’t be anyone able to do a Collins and tell them their work is sub-par as well.

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  25. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    I. Am. So. Sick. Of. The. Bain. Soap. Opera.

    Oh, c’mon! This isn’t about Bain anymore! We’ve got a whole new spin-off series, “Judith and Ian!”, a comedic drama in which a feisty, ambitious young(ish) woman locks horns with an older man, engages in a series of withering (but wittily composed) exchanges, leads the audience on a “will they/won’t they?” roller-coaster ride … before the Christmas break comes along and we all go off to get pissed (and pissed off) with our families.

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  26. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (793 comments) says:

    “Typical from The Press. They’ve long held the ground of experts on the Bain case, yet they are the organisation that chose not to report critical evidence against Robin Bain.”

    do tell us, what evidence?

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  27. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Gordon Campbell is scathing of Collins.

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/12/13/gordon-campbell-on-judith-collins-handling-of-the-bain-compensation-report/

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  28. flipper (3,949 comments) says:

    Elaycee…
    On some issues you are sound. On this you ARE away with the fairies. :)

    As Binnie himself notes in his carefully argued, mild, response to Collins, which, nevertheless, sliced and diced her, the Crown is an interested party and has spent 17 years trying to permanently incarcerate Bain.

    No cheer squad here. Just sadness that the playing fields are not kept level and equal, which is, after all, a principle upon which our system of justice has been developed (you know..Magna Carta and all that!) :) and is administered. At least it was until A A Thomas. And lo, 40 odd years later some have forgotten the lessons. Go read the full Royal Commission report.

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  29. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > We’ve got a whole new spin-off series, “Judith and Ian!”

    I wonder if Labour is tempted to ask Ian to stand as a list candidate at the next election (residency issues aside). I mean, with only one press release he’s managed to get under her skin, something Labour has struggled to do in the last 4 years. :)

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  30. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (793 comments) says:

    I’m not National voter and I got to say, the lefties appear to simply have it in for Collins…..
    and Bainies appear to be in two groups – have it in for the Police, or like to assume they simply are more open minded than others…. some belong to both of these groups
    open-mindedness and logic are not mutually exclusive people

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  31. Nostalgia-NZ (5,097 comments) says:

    dimes analogy about the house report is dead right, and there’s no reason to believe that Collin’s would not have attempted to suppress the report if she felt she could get away with it. She’s been angling in that direction and the argument would have been that it criticises people who haven’t had a right of reply – so she turns that hopefully with the thought that Binnie won’t mind being hung out to dry. Big mistake Judith.

    Anyway this is Collins best shot and she has blown it. She’s no more neutral than the SG she ‘sat down with’ to ‘sort things out.’

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  32. AG (1,823 comments) says:

    Just one more thing (promise!). The Press editorial says:

    By convention, judges never comment on their decisions once they are delivered. The decisions are taken to contain all the facts and reasoning required to be able to speak for themselves. Binnie is no longer a judge, of course, but in this procedure he is acting as one.

    This is, of course, bullshit. Binnie was acting as an advisor, tasked to produce a report (not a judgment) for the consideration of the Minister in order that she might recommend a course of action to Cabinet. The fact he was an ex-Judge may have got him the gig, but he quite clearly is NOT “being a judge” when he reviewed the case (or else the Minister would be bound in law to accept his conclusions (which she isn’t) and so she wouldn’t be getting his report “peer reviewed”, it would have to be “appealed”).

    But let’s buy the Press’ (utterly wrong) claim for a moment. The reason judges, by convention, don’t comment on their decisions is because there exists another convention that elected politicians do not criticise them for their judicial behaviour. So, if Binnie should have (by convention) not defended his report (because he was “acting as [a judge]“), then Collins was just as culpable for criticising that report.

    In fact, she’d actually be MORE culpable because she started it. Nyah, nyah, nyah.

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  33. lastmanstanding (1,279 comments) says:

    Collins was a 2 bit small town tax lawyer. Fact. Binnie is an internationally respected jurist of very high standing who has sat on more cases than Collins has had hot dinners.
    She doesnt like the report so she is seeking to discredit it.
    Now as one who still thinks Bain did it I also believe that when the government and its legal agencies have been slammed dunked by the Judical Committee of the Privy Council which they were and the SG Colllins lost and was shown to be a dogmatic incompetent ( thats why hes now on the bench cause thats a requirement in NZ) better to swallow hard and pay upo and shut up.
    NOT keep on carping on because you dont get the result you wanted.
    IMHO Collins has done any chance she ever had of being Leader of the Nats and a possible PM.
    She has shown bad judgement both in this case and the Little/Duck episode and shown she is not a fir and proper person to be a leader.
    She one of the screeching bullying Ill get my way come hell or water wimmin that inhabit both politics the public service and the private sector.
    I suggest JK is letting her go and giving her enough rope to hang herself as a potential future contenter for the title.

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  34. chrisw76 (85 comments) says:

    @ross69: He has a fair point as usual, but given that he is always 100% critical of the Nats it is kind of hard to take him seriously. Check it out if you don’t believe me – almost every article he writes takes a swipe at the government even if it is something completely unrelated (such as commentary on China or the US, etc).

    Cheers, Chris W.

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  35. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > Fact. Binnie is an internationally respected jurist of very high standing

    Read = Binnie couldn’t possibly be wrong. :)

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  36. Nostalgia-NZ (5,097 comments) says:

    ‘I suggest JK is letting her go and giving her enough rope to hang herself as a potential future contenter for the title.’

    Someone suggested that to me this morning.
    I have in the recent past suggested she’d do a good job as leader or PM, that was when she was speaking in the press about people, even within Government, needing to held accountable. She had me fooled on that one because now she looks like being up to her neck in cover ups.

    Just slightly off point the press often relate the proposition that half the country are for Bain and half against. I know it is a hot topic in such places as here, but in the wider ‘world’ of NZ it’s not the same. I think the percentage overall of public interested in the Bain case is quite low, although that number might be split 50/50. But the Minister may not realise the way she has handled this application is becoming of immense public interest, a Minister of Justice with no sense of natural justice, or even the ability to remove herself from a case to which she obviously is biased. These are the sort of things that enter the public mind as shown by what lastmanstanding has said. It ain’t fair.

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  37. James Stephenson (2,139 comments) says:

    Binnie is an internationally respected jurist of very high standing who has sat on more cases than Collins has had hot dinners.

    Binnie is a renowned activist judge from a court known (according to Stephen Franks) “more for political correctness than intellectual rigour”. He has a background in business and commercial law and has never sat as judge on a criminal case.

    Really, what the fuck was FIGJAM Power thinking when he appointed him?

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  38. lastmanstanding (1,279 comments) says:

    ross69

    Id back Binnies judgement anytime over Collins given Collins appalling track record. She doesnt know when to stop digging herself into a hole.
    She has sat on the report for 3 months hoping it would all blow over.

    BTW as I said I have always believed Bain did it but I alway believed that given the judgement of the JC of the PC and the result of the retrial in NZ and now a jurist hired by the government then at some point you just gotta leave it go and stop trying to fart against thunder as Collins is.

    The smart result would have been to accept Binnies report as it was commissioned by the government ( Simon Power as MOJ) and worked out a compo payment that was at best acceptable to the pro Bain side and did the least to piss of the anti Bain side ( which includes me).

    Its like employment disputes. Having been in business for 40 plus years sometimes the best result is to work a deal that gets as close as it can to both sides and move on. Its called being pragmatic.

    Collins has dug her heels in and will pay the price politically.

    As I said JK aint jumping to her defence. hes smart enough to see shes stuffed up big time.

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  39. James Stephenson (2,139 comments) says:

    Also, I think recent goings-on in the UK have shown us that appointing bewildered duffers of former judges shouldn’t come with any expectation of a sensible, logical coherent outcome.

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  40. dime (9,806 comments) says:

    AG – no im saying it sounds like the report is full of mistakes and they have spotted them.

    RRM – i dont think its responsible to release a report at this stage. the fact that its around did come from a leak. patience.

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  41. lastmanstanding (1,279 comments) says:

    James Stephenson

    None the less Binnie got the job so the government are stuck with him and his report. Its a bad look to go shopping around for the result you want after the fact.

    As I have said here and elsewhere the first rule when setting up a Commission of Inquiry is to pick the people who will deliver the result you want.

    As Collins has found out you dont get a second bite at the cherry.

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  42. flipper (3,949 comments) says:

    So now TV One says the “porno judge” has provided Collins with a “peer” (Silly fool Collins (and MSM) do (es) not even know that respected peer review involves more than one person and is totally anonymous) review that “pans” Binnie for favouring Bain throughout his enquiries.
    It appears Binnie’s reading of Collins’ motives were correct.
    Wonderful!

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  43. Nostalgia-NZ (5,097 comments) says:

    Although I think David Bain is totally innocent I agree with this:

    ‘The smart result would have been to accept Binnies report as it was commissioned by the government ( Simon Power as MOJ) and worked out a compo payment that was at best acceptable to the pro Bain side and did the least to piss of the anti Bain side ( which includes me).’

    It’s the way of the real world, including that of Civil Law. But on the other hand it doesn’t deal with any issues of culpability for criminal or legal misconduct which I expect is going to shock a few NZers, and is the real reason for Collin’s apparent subterfuge. The person I wrote about who mentioned Key this morning, said that he had no ‘legal’ baggage which might be Collin’s difficulty. I don’t agree with that because I don’t know – but he’s certainly a much better politician and one that I hope recognises that in the future these processes shouldn’t pass through the hands of politicians.

    Collin’s doesn’t seem to be able to comprehend what ‘extraordinary circumstances’ might be, and arguing that Binnie went beyond his ‘brief’ displays that.

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  44. Zapper (1,017 comments) says:

    Is AG actually a law professor? Besides it’s blatantly obvious political bias in every comment, he comes across as a churlish child. Is this the standard of academic maturity these days?

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  45. James Stephenson (2,139 comments) says:

    None the less Binnie got the job so the government are stuck with him and his report. Its a bad look to go shopping around for the result you want after the fact

    I disagree, Collins has to use the report as a basis for recommendations to Cabinet for the outlay of taxpayer money. If she reads it and doesn’t feel that it’s up to scratch in the way it reaches its conclusions, the right thing to do is to get a second opinion.

    It’s a serious subject. Would you blindly accept a Doctor’s recommendation for major surgery without listening to his reasons for recommending it, and considering a second opinion if you didn’t feel the reasoning was sound?

    As I have said here and elsewhere the first rule when setting up a Commission of Inquiry is to pick the people who will deliver the result you want.

    Can’t disagree with that in the slightest, but what do you do when the inquiry goes outside the terms of reference? I think we can all (with the exception of Westpac customers) feel relieved that Power has given politics away.

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  46. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “Having been in business for 40 plus years sometimes the best result is to work a deal that gets as close as it can to both sides and move on. Its called being pragmatic.”

    Oh I’m sure the Government will make a pragmatic decision, it won’t necessarily be to Bain’s liking. That’s what happens when you struggle to tell the truth.

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  47. Nostalgia-NZ (5,097 comments) says:

    ‘I disagree, Collins has to use the report as a basis for recommendations to Cabinet for the outlay of taxpayer money. If she reads it and doesn’t feel that it’s up to scratch in the way it reaches its conclusions, the right thing to do is to get a second opinion.’

    Even if that were true, it’s not the right thing to exclude one side deliberating whilst talking to the side with a vested interest in covering their butts. Those issues were likely able to have been worked through if all parties had been involved. She simply went down the wrong track, impetuously.

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  48. eszett (2,394 comments) says:

    dime (5,214) Says:
    December 13th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    AG – no im saying it sounds like the report is full of mistakes and they have spotted them.

    And you believe this just because Collins says so?

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  49. Paulus (2,598 comments) says:

    I find it surprising that New Zealander’s have now all become expert Lawyers.

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  50. muggins (3,341 comments) says:

    If you look at their respective qualifications it is not hard to see who is most qualified to review the Bain compensation claim.

    Justice Binnie.
    Graduated with an LL.B IN 1963. He obtained an LL.M in 1988.
    From 1982-1986 served as Associate Deputy Minister of Justice for the Canadian Goverment.
    Poilitician Binnie had never sat as a judge before his politically motivated appointment to the Supreme Court.

    Hon Robert Fisher QC.
    As a judge he has held positions as the chairman of the New Zealand Rules Committee,supervising judge of the Commercial List, Executive Judge of the Auckland High Court,Senior Judge of the Auckland High Court and Divisional member of the Court of appeal.
    He has published and lectured.
    His qualifications include Doctor of Laws [1984]Queens Counsel [1985] and Fulbright Scholar 1994.

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  51. eszett (2,394 comments) says:

    Besides it’s blatantly obvious political bias in every comment,

    Well then you can easily point out the “blatantly obvious political bias”, can’t you zapper?

    Or do you think just critising Collins in itself is already political bias?

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  52. Dexter (287 comments) says:

    Apparently quite a few were also present when the murders were committed, given they can state without doubt that he is either totally innocent or guilty.

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  53. muggins (3,341 comments) says:

    David Bain was present when the murders were committed,if you care to look at the evidence.

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  54. scrubone (3,091 comments) says:

    To me, what kills Binnie’s credibility is that he insists on painting the crown law office as an interested party.

    To some extent that is true – they prosecuted the man – but they are in this case acting as the government’s lawyer. What he is saying is that they do not have the integrity to seperate the two. That is quite a serious insinuation.

    This is not a Bain vs. the crown, this is Bain making a request *to* the crown. Bain gets to hear the results, but he does not get to hear the deliberations.

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  55. scrubone (3,091 comments) says:

    Bain has only been every found not guilty by one jury, and members of that jury have stated in public that they did not find him innocent.

    Even the privy council stated that there was a case to answer. The “miscarriage of justice” comment was not that he had been convincted, but rather that the evidence used to do so was no long the evidence that would be presented to court. People forget that, as the Bain camp challenged evidence, the crown countered with their own points.

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  56. flipper (3,949 comments) says:

    Muggins….

    Before you reinforce the impression that you are a mug…. go check on Fisher.
    He is known in legal circles as “the porno judge”.
    Looking at porn while “at work” is not a good look.
    Then there were other personal matters that resulted in a career stall – he was passed over for appointment as a permanent member of the Court of Appeal, threw his toy out of the cot and resigned.
    Fisher polarises the legal fraternity more than the Bain cased polarises NZ.
    Your “CV” for Binnie does YOU no credit muggins, but it does explain why you have that nom de plume.

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  57. muggins (3,341 comments) says:

    David Bain had been wearing those glasses that were found in his room with one lens missing . That lens was found in Stephen’s room. That means ,as the Law Lords of the Privy Council wrote in their report,
    “The Crown thesis that David Bain was wearing those glasses when engaged in a struggle with Stephen before shooting him is certainly a tenable one based on the evidence. Indeed,in the absense of any other explanation for the lens being found in Stephen’s roomwhere he was killed[and there wasn't one] the Crown thesis is a strong one.”

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  58. muggins (3,341 comments) says:

    flipper,
    It does not matter what Fisher is known as in legal circles. And I am sure thousands of men sneak a look at porn sites when they are at work. Maybe some women as well.
    The point is he is far better qualified than is Binnie to review a compesation claim.

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  59. flipper (3,949 comments) says:

    Scrubone…

    Stop reiterating porkies. Stick to facts. But I guess for you and others of like mind, they do not matter….?
    The PC was NOT asked and did not determine whether Bain had a case to answer. It was “Justice” (then SG) Collins.D who made that call (notwithstanding a nudge from the PC that he should let it go) , and LOST.

    Malfeasance? May be that is an issue in Binnie’s report.

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  60. muggins (3,341 comments) says:

    Even in his press release Binnie made a couple of errors.
    Can’t wait to see his report.

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  61. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    scrubone (1,714) Says:
    December 13th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    To me, what kills Binnie’s credibility is that he insists on painting the crown law office as an interested party.

    To some extent that is true – they prosecuted the man – but they are in this case acting as the government’s lawyer. What he is saying is that they do not have the integrity to seperate the two. That is quite a serious insinuation.

    That is stupid. If, for instance, a judge steps down because of real or perceived partiality there is no “serious insinuation” that they lack integrity. It is human nature to be biased towards previous decisions or viewpoints. Clearly if you prosecuted a man previously then you are biased towards reaffirming that viewpoint. To seek the viewpoint of someone who is biased clearly indicates an intention to shop around for the answer one wants which we all know has been Judith’s intention all along.

    This is not a Bain vs. the crown, this is Bain making a request *to* the crown. Bain gets to hear the results, but he does not get to hear the deliberations.

    Irrelevant. A fair process is one which involves the affected party in the decision making process. Judith of course isn’t bound to follow a fair process but a little bit of honesty would be nice.

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  62. Dexter (287 comments) says:

    “He is known in legal circles as “the porno judge”.
    Looking at porn while “at work” is not a good look.”

    You are either incredibly stupid or have irrefutable evidence of this. Which is it?

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  63. cha (3,933 comments) says:

    Which is it?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0202/S00077/judicial-net-porn-viewing-investigation-widens.htm

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  64. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    muggins (228) Says:
    December 13th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    flipper,
    It does not matter what Fisher is known as in legal circles. And I am sure thousands of men sneak a look at porn sites when they are at work. Maybe some women as well.
    The point is he is far better qualified than is Binnie to review a compesation claim.

    In what manner, precisely, is he better qualified to assess the claim? That is, in what manner is the competence of Binnie lacking, or his credentials, and on what authority do you make this conclusion? What is your legal training? Or are you making a guess?

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  65. Nookin (3,266 comments) says:

    “notwithstanding a nudge from the PC that he should let it go”

    Flipper: can you give me the exact passage? Judith said the same thing yesterday so I read the decision again and could only find the bit where they said that they could not and would not comment on guilt or otherwise and that an appellate court should not do so.

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  66. flipper (3,949 comments) says:

    Dexter.
    Neither

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  67. RF (1,368 comments) says:

    A senior reporter for the Christchurch Press has an interesting article in the on line section today…..He sets out a number of reasons why Bain should not receive any compensation. He is right on the button. Makes good reading

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  68. Elaycee (4,353 comments) says:

    @RF – you are right. Martin Van Beynen sat through the entire trial and comes to a firm conclusion:

    Compensation for Bain Would Be A Travesty

    Now, watch out for the Bain cheer squad arriving in 3, 2, 1…..

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/8075826/Compensation-for-Bain-would-be-a-travesty

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  69. dime (9,806 comments) says:

    “And you believe this just because Collins says so?”

    nah i believe they want a second opinion on the report and judging by the judges comments to the media he sounds like a fuckin moron.

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  70. Sponge (157 comments) says:

    I see that Leveson gave a speech noting the following on his report:

    ‘I believe that the Report can and must speak for itself; to that end, I will be making no further comment. Nobody will be speaking for meabout its contents either now or in the future.’

    The reason is very simple. I treat the Report as a judgment and judges simply do not enter into discussion about judgments they have given; they do not respond tocomment, however misconceived; neither do they seek to correct error. The judgment, or in this case, the Report, has to speak for itself. I am entirely contentthat it does.

    Binnie would have done well to have taken the same approach.

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  71. flipper (3,949 comments) says:

    Nookin …
    Five, senior, independent, British Judges told Collins that he (and the Court of Appeal) is wrong in their opposition to and position on Bain (in NZ Law), and that there had been eight instances of a substantial miscarriages of justice.

    They gave Bain what he sought (lets not get tied up in irrelevancies), and quashed the conviction.

    They did not order a retrial, They could NOT order that he not be retried. They said this was up to Collins et al (the same Collins et al wio had just been handed their arse.)

    If that is NOT a nudge you are clearly playing nookie with Crown Law…. :)

    Enter Binnie: He has also, apparently, reached the same conclusion as the Privy Council – hence he has become, in his words, “the sixth independent/overseas judge”. If you do not think that is a repeat of A A Thomas, I feel sorry foir you nookie :) .

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  72. dime (9,806 comments) says:

    flipper – if you can find bain INNOCENT then i feel sorry for you.

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  73. muggins (3,341 comments) says:

    cha,
    I see five judges were found to have looked at porn while at work. I would suspect they were just the ones that got caught.
    I bet there are thousands of mem who have looked at porn while at work. I mean it is not as if it is crime of the century,is it.?
    Bill Clinton didn’t have sex woth Monica Lewensky. I wonder if he ever looked at porn when he was President?
    The fact of the matter is that Fisher,regardless of the fact that he looked at porn,has far better qualifications to review a compensation claim than does Binnie.

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  74. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Sponge (4) Says:
    December 13th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I see that Leveson gave a speech noting the following on his report:

    The Leveson report was a public inquiry. Binnie’s report was withheld while Judith went to the media insulting the person whom the government had hired to provide independent advice. Even if one still thinks Binnie shouldn’t have responded I note you haven’t reserved any criticism for Judith.

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  75. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    muggins,

    The fact of the matter is that Fisher,regardless of the fact that he looked at porn,has far better qualifications to review a compensation claim than does Binnie.

    I agree, porn is irrelevant. Please explain how Fisher’s qualifications make him better suited to judge. You have so far failed to explain precisely why that is so.

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  76. twistedlemon (110 comments) says:

    flipper – substantial or substantive? Big difference.

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  77. Nookin (3,266 comments) says:

    Flipper
    Your assessment is seriously misguided and conflicted. If they were not able to order a retrial, why does their failure to order a retrial a “nudge”?
    They gave Bain what he sought — which was a retrial. Bain went back to the PC and wanted a permanent stay. If the PC was in “nudge” mode, surely it would have granted the stay or at least given some obiter guidance? Instead it said “no”.

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  78. Nookin (3,266 comments) says:

    Where did “edit” go?

    “…why is their failure….”

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  79. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    From http://www.stuff.co.nz

    A review of the report into David Bain’s compensation claim alleges retired Canadian judge Ian Binnie accepted Bain’s version of events without question, except where it directly contradicted other witnesses.

    The Binnie report has been revealed as finding serious wrongdoing by authorities.

    A list of apparent “errors” in Binnie’s report after a review by former High Court judge Robert Fisher included:

    * Binnie made fundamental errors of principle.

    * He disregarded any item of evidence that did not prove a subsidiary fact on the balance of probabilities, contrary to New Zealand law, and excluded significant evidence such as blood stains on Bain’s clothing, the broken glasses, Bain’s fingerprints on the rifle, his father Robin’s motive and mental stability, Bain’s post-event admissions and Bain’s admission that he heard sister Laniet gurgling.

    * Binnie regarded the jury acquittal as something that was relevant to whether Bain had proved his innocence.

    * Binnie arrived at a provisional conclusion of innocence based on one item, luminol footprints, followed by a serial testing of that conclusion, instead of considering the cumulative effect of all evidence.

    * Binnie’s approach was markedly generous to Bain in its reliance on background facts sourced from him.

    * Instead of requiring Bain to satisfy him on the balance of probabilities, Binnie imposed on onus on the Crown whenever it suggested factual possibilities inconsistent with Bain’s innocence.

    * Binnie went beyond his mandate

    * Instead of founding conclusions on the evidence available to him Binnie drew an adverse inference to the Crown where in Binnie’s view the police ought to have gone further in its investigations.

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  80. muggins (3,341 comments) says:

    Weihana,
    I would have thought my post at 1.19 made that quite clear.
    Unfortunately,Binnie does not have the experience that Fisher does,otherwise he would have not said,in his press release,that the decision of the Privy Council that there had been a miscarriage of justice was reinforced by the verdict in the 2009 trial.
    That not guilty verdict did not reinforce the decision of the Privy Council. The Privy Council said that it did not have an opinion as to whether Bain was guilty or not.
    You can have a trial which is found to have been a miscarriage of justice but which still reaches the right result[which was the case in the Bain trial,in my opinion].
    Binnie has demonstrated that he does not understand the meaning of miscarriage of justice,nor does he understand the Privy Council decision.
    He has also failed to understand the retrial jury’s verdict. He appears to believe a not guilty verdict equates to a finding of innocence. It does not.
    That is a myth perpetrated by the myth perpetrators. Binnie should have known that.

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  81. Nostalgia-NZ (5,097 comments) says:

    First press releases through. Exclusively apart from one point Fisher attacking Binnie.
    I seem to have given him too much credit, hatchet man he is after all.
    We’ve even got the gurgling and fingerprints on the rifle going again, all one sided of course – what a surprise.
    Another surprise was that it was foreshadowed by a Van Beynan ‘opinion’ piece around 1pm. Just out of the blue.

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  82. Nostalgia-NZ (5,097 comments) says:

    I thought I better respond to The Press about those ‘opinions’ mentioned above.

    To the Editor.

    Hi Andrew.

    Assuming you are still editor.

    The following is a formal complaint about a specific article.

    In accordance with the Press Council requirements I write on what I see as clearly unbalanced piece by Van Beynan titled “Compensation for Bain would be a travesty.’”

    I must note that Van Beynan has an obsessive type interest in the Bain case which has resulted in not presenting both sides of the evidence for and against David Bain over a long period of time. Further to that he has publicly displayed his bias at least twice. The first resulting in a warning from the Justice Department to stay away from Jurors of the retrial after one complained that he had harassed her. The second instance followed the International Justice Conference where at question time he inquired as to why David hated his father, deliberately misquoting evidence where David had said that ‘if’ his father had killed the family he would hate him.

    Other points to note. I am unaware that Van Beynan has ever reported that Robin Bain died with blood smears on his palms, additionally he has never reported in his many attacks on David Bain that Robin Bain’s dna was found inside the rifle. Both significant evidence of his guilt.

    In his opinion piece Van Beynan lists the following as evidence against David Bain.

    1/ His fingerprints on the rifle. Yet he does not refer to trial evidence that fingerprints can last for many years on such surfaces and could simply have been there in a ‘carrying position’ rather than a ‘firing position’ for some time before the killings. There was evidence to this effect during the trial which Van Beynan would have mentioned should his intention have been to provide balance.

    2/ The lens ‘that were useful to him but not his father were found in his bedroom.’ Van Beynan cannot possibly be unaware of the controversy surround the lens yet he mentions none of it – not least the fact that a police officer admitted to the Jury to giving misleading evidence on the lens, nor that the police officer had sued Joe Karam over a matter related to the lens and lost.

    3/ He says inconsistencies with David’s various accounts but mentions none of them or what responses there were regarding them.

    4/ ‘His brother’s blood on his clothes.’ Here he gives no details of the blood, some of which was aged and none of which was spatter as would have been expected in Stephen’s room by the amount of spatter on the walls and floor.

    5/ ‘A 20 to 25 minute delay’ in ringing the police. Again he gives absolutely no details of the defence raised against this and the evidence that David may have blacked out, or would obviously have been in shock.

    He goes onto raise reasons why Robin wasn’t the killer in his ‘opinion’ and each of his reasons are flawed compared to the evidence and certainly not balanced.

    1/ He asked how the ‘cadaverous’ Robin fought of Stephen and sustained no injuries. The evidence showed there were injuries to Robin’s hands consistent with punching. Of course Robin also held a rifle and Stephen had been largely incapacitated by a scalp wound. Evidence was given that Robin was 17 kilos heavier than his son, a considerable weight advantage. The use of the word ‘cadaverous’ was taken from evidence known to Van Beynan, the word was used not to describe Robin’s physical condition, but rather that ‘he was dead behind the eyes.’ Something else Van Beynan twists to his favour of bias.

    2/ He asks why Robin put on gloves. However that is not a question for David Bain to answer. The fact Robin wore gloves is supported by the blood smears on his palms which Van Beynan has deliberately held silent on.

    3/ He asks why Robin changed clothes. That also is not a question for David Bain. But any brief research by Van Beynan would reveal that people committing suicide do sometimes change clothes, putting on something that was a favourite for them to wear or which reminded them of a favourite time. Van Beynan mentions none of this, again underpinning his bias and focus at being one-sided.

    4/ He asks why none of Robin’s fingerprints were not on the rifle. Yet he ignores various records, including testimony offered at the trial, that the fingerprints of a user are often not found on firearms because of the nature of the surface, oil and other reasons. One of which would be the obvious that Robin is alleged to have worn gloves. He entirely ignores that there were many prints lifted from the rifle that couldn’t be identified or excluded as having been Robin’s, or that those fingerprints were destroyed despite that they might have been able to been able to excluded as being David’s or Robins.

    5/ He asks why did Robin wait for David ‘to be just about bouncing through the door’ before writing the suicide note. Again David Bain can not be expected to offer an explanation for something he doesn’t know about. On this point however Van Beynan could have expanded his one-eyed piece to include the fact that the Crown eventually conceded the very important fact – that David wasn’t home when the computer was turned on. But no, he chooses only to show complete imbalance and bias in his piece in order to mislead the public.

    6/ He asks another inane question if Robin had cleaned up why did he still have spots of blood on his hand. The answer is obvious: from his suicide, as is the answer for the blood smears on his palms partially washed off – the murder of his family.

    7/ He returns to an old ‘favourite’ the full bladder of Robin Bain. Yet the evidence regarding the bladders of older men indicated that his bladder may not have been full, and that the amount of urine retained was ‘remarkable’ for someone Robin’s age.

    8/In his next question relates to why Robin set his alarm and collect the paper if he was so disturbed he had decided to kill his family. I’m unaware of any conclusive evidence that indicates that he did either of those things, but they’re insignificant compared to issues such as the injuries to Robin’s hands, his blood on the laundry towel, blood smears on his hands, recorded spatter from his wound excluding anybody else being present in the room at the time he shot himself and so on.

    9/ He asks how come David was scaring the family which was contested evidence. He might have also asked why Robin had been threatening children at his school allegedly striking one. He might even have gone into the reasons for Robin’s alleged motive.

    I look forward to your response to this. I hope that you treat this matter seriously. Van Beynan has been a vocal critic of Peter Ellis as he is now of David Bain, in both situations he forwarded on one side of the story as he has done here. This piece is deliberately one-sided, in particular because Van Beynan knows the other side to all the allegations he makes. I believe this piece has been intended to be destructive against David Bain, the reason for Van Beynan only giving a one-sided argument.

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  83. Sponge (157 comments) says:

    Weihana (2,601) Says:
    December 13th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Was there a suggestion that the Binnie report would never subject to public scrutiny?

    I was making no comment at all about Collins. I was commenting on the dignified manner in which Leveson described how he would let his judgement speak for itself and that I thought Binnie should have taken a leaf from his book.

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  84. Elaycee (4,353 comments) says:

    Here we go again – now a member of the Bain cheer squad is bleating about a clearly titled OPINION PIECE written by Martin Van Beynen in The Press.

    I wonder whether the same Bain cheer squad member was equally outraged when a completely one sided view was expressed in print by Joe Karam? No? Thought not… Pffttt…

    The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

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  85. Nostalgia-NZ (5,097 comments) says:

    Instead of getting hysterical check out the Press Council Rules Elaycee.

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  86. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    muggins (231) Says:
    December 13th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Weihana,
    I would have thought my post at 1.19 made that quite clear.

    You cited the qualifications of each. You did not explain why one is therefore more able than the other or why Binnie is not competent. It is a wonder on what authority you proclaim to assess legal expertise. Seems to me both are highly respected jurists. But apparently you know quite a bit more than Binnie. What is your expertise?

    Unfortunately,Binnie does not have the experience that Fisher does,otherwise he would have not said,in his press release,that the decision of the Privy Council that there had been a miscarriage of justice was reinforced by the verdict in the 2009 trial.
    That not guilty verdict did not reinforce the decision of the Privy Council. The Privy Council said that it did not have an opinion as to whether Bain was guilty or not.

    But a different decision following retrial does in fact reinforce the notion that a miscarriage of justice occurred. I see nothing wrong with Binnie’s logic there. It does not imply a view of the PC as to whether or not he was guilty or innocent. The point was simply that the PC had rejected the arguments of the Solicitor General which argued that there was no miscarriage of justice.

    You can have a trial which is found to have been a miscarriage of justice but which still reaches the right result[which was the case in the Bain trial,in my opinion].
    Binnie has demonstrated that he does not understand the meaning of miscarriage of justice,nor does he understand the Privy Council decision.

    You have not demonstrated that, you have merely asserted it without basis.

    He has also failed to understand the retrial jury’s verdict. He appears to believe a not guilty verdict equates to a finding of innocence. It does not.

    I do not find that conclusion anywhere in his press release. You appear to be making things up.

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  87. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Sponge (5) Says:
    December 13th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Weihana (2,601) Says:
    December 13th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Was there a suggestion that the Binnie report would never subject to public scrutiny?

    So as long as it is released at some unspecified future date he should simply stand by without rebuttal as our Minister insults him? Do you think we would have the reports now if not for him defending himself from such criticisms?

    I was making no comment at all about Collins.

    Which is a shame as the actions of one are clearly linked to the other. She should have kept her fat gob shut in the first instance. In light of her attacks he was right to defend himself given she was continuing to withhold the report.

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  88. chiz (1,133 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ:Hi Andrew.

    Assuming you are still editor.

    The editor of The Press is now Joanna Norris.

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  89. Sponge (157 comments) says:

    Weihana (2,604) Says:
    December 13th, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Ye.s I think he should have let his report do the talking – that was the point I was making by posting what Leveson had said. If Binnies report had been robust enough to withstand scrutiny he would not need to be defending it.

    Collins was between a rock and a hard place. If she recommended a payment to Bain based on a rubbish report she would be crucified. If she recognises that the report goes beyond its scope and obtains further advise she is accused of political meddling. I happen to think she was trying to do the right thing. That course of action is, of course, so uncommon in a politician that it is unlikely to be recognised for what it is.

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  90. Dexter (287 comments) says:

    “I thought I better respond to The Press about those ‘opinions’ mentioned above.”

    Why would you post the letter here. I’m sure if anyone was actually interested they could go to your blog?

    And no offence but the above commentator is correct, it seems to reek of hypocrisy especially given the content of your blog.

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  91. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Sponge (6) Says:
    December 13th, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Weihana (2,604) Says:
    December 13th, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Ye.s I think he should have let his report do the talking – that was the point I was making by posting what Leveson had said. If Binnies report had been robust enough to withstand scrutiny he would not need to be defending it.

    Of course you ignore that it wouldn’t be released now if he hadn’t defended himself. Moreover, the Leveson inquiry is not comparable to what Judith is doing.

    Collins was between a rock and a hard place. If she recommended a payment to Bain based on a rubbish report she would be crucified. If she recognises that the report goes beyond its scope and obtains further advise she is accused of political meddling. I happen to think she was trying to do the right thing. That course of action is, of course, so uncommon in a politician that it is unlikely to be recognised for what it is.

    Which is bullshit of course. She knew what she wanted to do all along she just didn’t want to admit that her decision was political. As Binnie points out a second report was already deemed necessary before his was even peer reviewed. She was shopping around for an opinion she agreed with.

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  92. Sponge (157 comments) says:

    Weihana (2,605) Says:
    December 13th, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I never said that Leveson was comparable – once again I was merely pointing out that a respected judge will stand by what the judgement they make without feeling a need to defend it. If the report is sufficiently robust it will speak for itself. Clearly the Binnie report is not that robust and his reaction to the criticism makes me thinks that he knows this.

    Collins was a lawyer of some standing (if that is possible) prior to entering parliament and having read the report, and knowing what the terms of reference for the report were, was concerned with what she saw. Are you suggesting that she should have ignored her concerns and recommended to cabinet that a payment be made to Bain?

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  93. Sponge (157 comments) says:

    PS – sorry about the poor spelling and possibly poor grammar in that last post.

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