Bain compo decision could take months
Justice Minister Judith Collins will take recommendations to Cabinet on the David Bain compensation claim – but a final decision is months away.
Late last year she rejected a report on the claim by retired Canadian judge Ian Binnie and ordered a peer review by Robert Fisher QC, which backed her concerns.
Ministers must now decide whether to ask Fisher to continue on the case, or commission a new lawyer or an independent panel to produce a new report.
Collins confirmed all of these options would prolong settling Bain's claim for wrongful conviction and imprisonment. She said this morning a final decision would be "some time yet" and could take months.
The report and peer review has so far cost $500,000.
Bain was convicted in 1995 of murdering five members of his family in Dunedin and spent 13 years in jail. He was acquitted by a jury at a retrial in 2009, and subsequently submitted an application for compensation.
Estimates suggest he could get a $2 million payout – but because his case falls outside Cabinet guidelines he is not automatically entitled to compensation.
"Even though there has been a lot of money spent on this, and there will no doubt be more money spent on a report of some form, it is not a matter of money," Collins said.
"It is a matter of justice and it needs to be seen to be done."