4 Aug 2013

Justice Minister lacks political will for Pora inquiry - Labour

5:18 pm on 4 August 2013

The Labour Party says the Justice Minister is completely wrong to dismiss calls for an independent inquiry into the murder and rape conviction of Teina Pora.

Pora has spent 20 years in jail for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in south Auckland in 1992, a crime he says he didn't commit.

The Police Association wants Pora's conviction reviewed, saying there is sufficient concern among some senior detectives to warrant an inquiry.

Justice Minister Judith Collins says Pora's legal team is considering leave to appeal to the Privy Council, which would consider whether there has been a miscarriage of justice.

Ms Collins says it would be completely inappropriate for a minister of the Crown to interfere in the court process.

However, Labour's Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says Ms Collins has a track record for refusing inquiries due to litigation, but in this instance there is none.

"Here is a case, admittedly 20 years or so old, where there are now very serious and quite credible allegations of a miscarriage of justice, she should be getting onto it pronto, there is nothing stopping her apart from her own lack of political will."

Mr Little says when credible organisations such as the Police Association say the circumstances look like an inquiry is justified, the minister should be listening.