The Press reports that Justice Minister Simon Power has been urged by his former colleagues Katherine Rich and Don Brash (and author Lynley Hood) to launch a commission of inquiry into the Peter Ellis case.
They ask Power to consider appointing an Australian judge to reconsider the case, believing it would be difficult for a New Zealand judge to approach it without prior knowledge or involvement.
The trio also ask that a judge be given the power to recommend a pardon for Ellis if he or she found that a miscarriage of justice had occurred.
Rich said an inquiry into the Ellis case was essential. “Two former prime ministers, 12 law professors, 10 Queen’s Counsel and thousands of other petitioners have already expressed their concerns. This case will not go away until a final review is done.”
Phil Goff expressed support for an inquiry in Opposition, but did little in Government but rubberstamp what the Ministry of Justice advised. This is a real opportunity for Simon Power to show some leadership.
I am not normally a sceptic of juries finding people guilty. I think they got it right with Watson, Bain, Lundy, that antiques dealer etc etc. In fact normally I think juries find too many people not guilty.
But with Peter Ellis, I am aghast at how he was found guilty. I have read many many articles and the Hood book on the case, and each time I am staggered at how flawed the process was.
Simon Power has a great opportunity to restore faith in the justice system. I hope he takes it up.