IMPORTANT UPDATE: See correction and apology of 26 March regarding Jon Stephenson.
In April 2018 I blogged on the Operation Burnham inquiry:
Will Hager and Stephenson accept the findings of the inquiry, or only if they back their allegations? Will they apologise to NZDF if an inquiry finds their allegations are incorrect?
Of course I knew the answer to my own question. They are already attacking the inquiry and setting themselves up to reject it as the evidence is not backing their version of events.
Andrew Vance reports:
Manning is representing the injured villagers and relatives of the deceased and mounted a powerful defence for proceedings to be held in the open, in front of the inquiry chairs in November.
She argued the process was focused on the reputation of the Defence Force and not the ‘right to life’ obligations New Zealand had towards the victims.
Those international obligations mean states must investigate unresolved killings, especially where their agents may have been involved. But her arguments were dismissed as not relevant to the terms of reference for the inquiry.
On behalf of the villagers, Manning had launched legal proceedings in 2017. Those were put on hold to allow the inquiry to play out.
Manning has called a press conference at her Auckland law offices on Thursday. It’s understood legal action is once again on the table.
That would demonstrate a massive loss of faith in the inquiry.
They’re not interested in evidence.
If the inquiry finds that the allegations are false, it is clear the proponents of the allegations will simply reject the findings. This is the first step in softening us up for that.
So the inquiry is looking to be a huge waste of time and money because one side is never going to accept any result they don’t like.