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John Tamihere defends brother David

Thursday 4 Nov 2010 11:14 p.m.

David Tamihere will be released on November 15

David Tamihere will be released on November 15

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By Angela Beswick

Broadcaster John Tamihere has lifted his silence on his brother, convicted murderer David Tamihere.

This afternoon John fielded calls during the RadioLIVE talkback show he shares with Willie Jackson.

“No one comes out of a double murder investigation untouched,” he said.

“The victim’s family are obviously heavily affected – forever.

“It’s no walk in the park for the alleged offender’s family either,” he said.

John’s brother David Tamihere was convicted in relation to the murder of Swedish backpacker Urban Hoglin, whose body was discovered by pig hunters in the Coromandel in 1991.

He was also convicted of the murder of Mr Hoglin’s fellow backpacker Heidi Paakkonen. Her body has never been found.

David has maintained his innocence, despite assurances by the parole board his sentence would be reduced if he admitted guilt.

Family of Ms Paakkonen have called for David to reveal the location of her body.

But David’s assurances are enough for John, who says he is convinced his brother is innocent.

“He’s a brother – flesh and blood. You can’t resolve on that. You can’t walk away,” he said.

“He has maintained his innocence all the way through this. I support him as my brother.”

But, “the cops are adamant they got the right man”, John said. He added that there was only ever circumstantial evidence, which “tipped” the prosecution’s case, and his brother should not have been convicted.

John said he believes new evidence put forward in 1991 meant his brother deserved a retrial.

“If he had been convicted on the second trial, well, you’ve gotta suck a kumara.”

David Tamihere will be released on November 15, after serving nearly 21 years behind bars.

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