18 Mar 2014

Judge reserves Pora bail decision

4:08 pm on 18 March 2014

After 21 years behind bars, Teina Pora is hoping he'll get a taste of freedom later in March. The 38-year-old has been in jail for the murder and rape of Susan Burdett in Auckland in 1992.

Teina Pora at the High Court on Tuesday.

Teina Pora at the High Court on Tuesday. Photo: RNZ / Olivia Wix

Pora is appealing against those convictions at the Privy Council in London in October or November this year and has asked to be released on bail in the meantime.

Tuesday was the first time that Pora has been seen in public in 14 years and, despite spending more than half of his life in jail, looked much the same as he did in photographs of him in court aged 17.

During his hour-long appearance at the High Court in Auckland, Pora alternated between listening intently and smiling at everyone who made eye contact

The Bail Act prevents Radio New Zealand News detailing the Crown and defence arguments.

Justice Lang reserved his decision on Tuesday and said he would make it public by the end of next week.

The Court of Appeal earlier in March rejected an application to hear the bail request so it was transferred to the High Court in Auckland.

If bail is declined, Pora's freedom will be in the hands of the Parole Board at the end of March.