15 Oct 2009

No Ellis inquiry decision profoundly disappointing - Brash

9:03 am on 15 October 2009

Former National Party leader Don Brash says a decision not to hold a Commission of Inquiry into the Peter Ellis case is profoundly disappointing.

Mr Ellis served seven years of a 10 year prison term for molesting seven children in 1993 at a civic creche in Christchurch. He was released in 2000 still protesting his innocence.

Justice Minister Simon Power has declined the request by Dr Brash, former National MP Katherine Rich and Dunedin author Lynley Hood for an inquiry into all aspects of the investigation and legal processes relating to the case.

Mr Power says Mr Ellis has not exhausted all his appeal rights.

The minister says counsel for Mr Ellis had previously signalled an intention to file an application for special leave to appeal to the Privy Council, but has not done so.

Dr Brash says the petition was supported by two former Prime Ministers and about a dozen Queen's Counsels.

Dr Hood, author of the book A City Possessed which outlines flaws in the case, says Mr Power's decision shows he lacks moral courage and political will.

She says the request was for a Commission of Inquiry into the whole Christchurch civic creche case and Mr Power is totally missing the point by focusing on Mr Ellis.

Both Dr Brash and Dr Hood say there have been previous cases in history where Governments have decided that miscarriages of justice have taken place.

They cite the Arthur Allan Thomas case - when then-Prime Minister Rob Muldoon ordered a Commission of Inquiry - as one example.