10 Oct 2009

Crown applies to Supreme Court for Gwaze appeal

7:01 am on 10 October 2009

The Crown has applied to the Supreme Court to appeal against the acquittal of a Christchurch man who was accused of raping and murdering his niece.

George Gwaze was tried and acquitted of the rape and murder of Charlene Makaza, 10, who died in 2007.

The Crown argued unsuccessfully at the Court of Appeal that the trial judge should not have allowed hearsay evidence from a South African doctor that supported the defence view that the girl died of HIV-related complications.

It is the first time the Crown has taken a criminal case to the country's highest court.

Mr Gwaze's lawyer says the family is very disappointed the issue has been reopened and it will be vigorously defended.