Teina Pora gets Privy Council appeal
Convicted rapist and murderer Teina Pora has been granted leave to appeal his convictions.
The Privy Council has confirmed Pora, to appeal his 1994 conviction for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in her South Auckland home.
Pora's case will be heard over three days in London later this year, according to the Privy Council decision released yesterday.
Pora's lawyers filed an application for the appeal with the Privy Council in August.
The lead counsel for Pora's defence team, Jonathan Krebs, said Pora was delighted by the news.
"It took a second or two to hit him then he broke out in a big beautiful smile."
Pora is a "a humble, quiet" man, contrary to what some people may think, he said.
"It's just fantastic. It's been a long time coming. We have always been hopeful but you start to wonder when it takes so long."
Krebs expected the hearing to be held in October.
Burdett, 39, was found bludgeoned to death in her Papatoetoe home in 1992.
Pora was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1994, and in 2000, after the Court of Appeal ordered a second trial, he was found guilty again.
He has spent 20 years in jail.
Pora's lawyer has maintained there was no direct evidence that linked his client to the scene, and that he was convicted largely because of a false confession.
Concerns have since been raised about the conviction, and the Police Association last year called for a review of the conviction citing "sufficient concern among some senior detectives to warrant an inquiry".
Pora's appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council will likely be the last of its kind for New Zealand.
The Supreme Court came into being on January 1, 2004 - abolishing the right of appeal from New Zealand-based courts to the Privy Council in London.
Certain appeals can continue to be determined by the Privy Council, if the decision of the New Zealand court being appealed was made prior to December 31, 2003.