Guest on Bain

David Fisher at NZ Herald reports:

’s first defence lawyer has emailed Justice Minister Judith Collins to say that, in his opinion, his former client had made a “damning admission” which in his view “shatters any suggestion of innocence”.

The email was sent by disbarred lawyer Michael Guest to the Minister of Justice on September 10, just weeks after she received a report from retired Canadian Justice Ian Binnie saying Mr Bain was “factually innocent” and should be compensated.

Mr Guest’s email became a factor in the decision to have Justice Binnie’s report peer reviewed. On September 26, Mrs Collins wrote to retired Justice Robert Fisher saying Mr Guest’s email, concerns from the police and her own issues “led me to consider that I need to proceed to this peer review”.

Mrs Collins confirmed the link to the Herald, saying it added to concerns raised by herself, the police and the Crown Law Office.

Mr Guest claimed in his email he was prompted to contact Mrs Collins after reading reports Mr Bain had been found “innocent”.

In a personal email, Mr Guest expressed his view to Mrs Collins which stated “finding that [Mr Bain] is innocent is not a correct conclusion”.

Mr Guest claimed he was freed from client confidentiality because of an earlier waiver by Mr Bain. He said he was concerned because neither he nor his co-counsel had been interviewed by Justice Binnie as part of the inquiry.

I would have thought that was sensible to do, even if you didn’t treat his views as determinative.

The claims focus on whether Mr Bain was wearing his mother’s glasses the weekend before the murders – the frame was found in his room and a lens in his brother Stephen’s room.

Mr Guest said he was told by Mr Bain he had been wearing the glasses. He said Justice Binnie could have found a way to take a different view on the evidence about the glasses “but, in my opinion, it shatters any suggestion of innocence”.

There seem to be two main possibilities. Either David Bain told the truth to his lawyer Guest, and later lied about it.

Or David Bain has always denied wearing the glasses the weekend before the murders, and his former lawyer has invented the story.

I understand this story was first reported on Monday in Truth. Their website may have more details later today.

Truth has put online the documents released under the OIA. The letter from Police listing the errors in Binnie’s report is very detailed.

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