No bail for convicted murderer Pora
Convicted murderer Teina Pora has been denied bail while he waits for his case to go to the Privy Council.
Pora, convicted in 1994 for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in her South Auckland home, last week applied for bail pending his appeal to the Privy Council.
Justice Graham Lang released his decision this afternoon, saying the High Court had no inherent jurisdiction to grant bail pending an appeal to the council.
Consequently, he denied the bail application.
During the application last week, Pora's lawyer, Jonathan Krebs, told the High Court his client had a strong appeal case.
Pora's conviction was based largely on his confession which a psychologist and a psychiatrist had now thrown into doubt by diagnosing him with a condition on the foetal alcohol spectrum, Krebs said.
The confession was "so demonstrably unreliable" that the jury should not have seen it, he said.
Pora has twice been found guilty of Burdett's murder but the Privy Council has granted leave to appeal against his convictions in a case that will be heard over three days in London this year.
Krebs said the Privy Council would also consider that serial rapist Malcolm Rewa had subsequently been convicted of raping Burdett. Rewa's erectile dysfunction - which Pora's second trial did not hear about - made it unlikely that he would have taken a second person with him to commit his crimes.
The Crown successfully contended at Pora's second trial that he must have accompanied Rewa when Burdett was attacked, despite Pora being much younger and belonging to a rival gang.
Krebs said Pora was taken into custody exactly 21 years before last week's hearing - March 18, 1993 - and he had spent more than half his life in prison.
Pora has a separate parole hearing next week.