21 Aug 2018

Informant convicted of perjury in Tamihere trial appeals sentence

1:37 pm on 21 August 2018

The man convicted of perjury for his evidence during David Tamihere's murder trial has appealed his sentence.

David Tamihere outside the High Court at Auckland.

David Tamihere outside court. Photo: RNZ

Roberto Conchie Harris, who was known for 27 years as 'Witness C', was convicted of perjury in September last year.

Today in the Court of Appeal in Wellington Harris' lawyer Adam Simperingham said the evidence his client gave back in 1990 was not critical to the prosecution, as decided in an appeal in 1992.

He said the start point of the sentence, nine years, was too high.

However, the lawyer representing Arthur Taylor, Richard Francois, said perjury sits alongside the most serious crimes in this country.

The appellant lied numerous times, and the sentencing judge was right to impose a long sentence, Mr Francois said.

Harris was sentenced in September last year to eight-and-a-half years' prison for committing perjury during Tamihere's trial in 1990 for the murders of two Swedish tourists.

His conviction came after a successful private prosecution from jailhouse lawyer Arthur Taylor.