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Second Bain report likely - Collins

Tuesday 29 Jan 2013 11:15 a.m.

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A decision on David Bain's compensation claim is still months away, with the Government likely to order a second report after shelving a $400,000 report by a retired Canadian judge.

Justice Ian Binnie was commissioned to review Mr Bain's claim for wrongful conviction and 13 years in prison, recommending the government compensate him in a report to Justice Minister Judith Collins last year.

Ms Collins canned the report after a peer review by Robert Fisher QC, saying it was "fundamentally flawed" and would not be put to Cabinet.

On Tuesday, Ms Collins said she will take recommendations for new options to decide Mr Bain's claim to cabinet next Monday.

Those could include Dr Fisher completing a report on the claim, appointing someone new to assess it, or appointing a panel to decide.

"It's entirely up to cabinet. I'll put some options, recommendations, but I'm not pre-judging what cabinet will say," Ms Collins said.

A final decision on the claim was some time away yet.

"The timeframes will obviously be extended depending on what the option is that cabinet decides. Clearly if there's a panel, it'll probably take longer than if Dr Fisher was asked to do it, or if there was another QC it will also take longer."

A panel would be "significantly more expensive" than a QC, she said.

Otago University law professor Andrew Geddis, former Law Commission president Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Labour's justice spokesman Charles Chauvel are all urging the Government to convene a panel to consider the claim.

Mr Bain spent 13 years in prison after being convicted in 1995 of killing his father, mother, brother and two sisters at their Dunedin home.

The Privy Council quashed the convictions in 2007 and in 2009 Mr Bain was acquitted at a retrial.

The Government is under no obligation to pay compensation, but according to the formula used in its last compensation payment, Mr Bain stands to receive about $2 million for loss of liberty and livelihood, and emotional harm.


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