27 Mar 2013

Maori Party writes to Govt over Pora case

11:19 pm on 27 March 2013

The Maori Party has written to the Justice Minister, backing calls to reopen the case of a twice-convicted man who lawyers say has been wrongly imprisoned.

Teina Pora has spent 20 years in jail for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992.

Pora's lawyers say no direct evidence has ever linked him to the crime scene and he was largely convicted on the basis of a false confession.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the serious doubts raised about Pora's conviction warrant closer examination.

Dr Sharples has written to the minister, Judith Collins, saying there are enough inconsistencies in Pora's case to justify a review.

He says if there is a possibility of innocence, then the evidence should be re-examined.

His co-leader, Tariana Turia, says the case must be revisited.

In 2011, Pora applied for the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, the first step towards reopening the case.