8 Aug 2013

Bain lawyers stand by criticism of minister

12:14 pm on 8 August 2013

David Bain's legal team is standing by its criticism of the Justice Minister's handling of his compensation claim, despite her lawyers saying there is no evidence.

Mr Bain spent 13 years in prison after being convicted of murdering his family in Dunedin in 1994, but was found not guilty at a retrial in 2009.

His lawyers are seeking a judicial review of the compensation process, but argue they need the advice Judith Collins received about the bid after a report from retired Canadian judge Ian Binnie said that, on the balance of probabilities, Mr Bain was innocent. Ms Collins had the judge's report reviewed by a Queen's Counsel.

Mr Bain's legal team says Ms Collins was biased, prejudiced and had already decided what she wanted the compensation outcome to be.

Crown lawyers acting for Ms Collins told the Auckland High Court on Wednesday there is not a shred of evidence to support the claim that the minister acted inappropriately.

Kristy McDonald, QC, said 600 documents have been released, but the rest are legally privileged.

Mr Bain's lawyer Michael Reed QC, argued there is plenty of evidence, including how the minister asked for "secret advice" about a report on the compensation bid.

He said Ms Collins tried to claim that the report was legally privileged, yet it was given to others "willy nilly".

The hearing ended on Wednesday and Justice Keane has reserved his decision.