Bain compensation judge paid $400k

The Government has paid $400,000 so far to the judge employed to determine whether David Bain should receive compensation.

Bain, who recently proposed to his Christchurch girlfriend, Liz Davies, spent almost 13 years in jail over the murder of his parents and three siblings in 1994, and was acquitted at a Christchurch retrial in 2009.

Retired Canadian Supreme Court judge Justice Ian Binnie was asked by the Government last November to consider the compensation claim, but the Cabinet will make the decision.

Documents released to Radio New Zealand under the Official Information Act show Justice Binnie has been paid almost $315,000, excluding GST.

He has been paid $450 an hour, which may seem high, but the Justice Ministry told Radio New Zealand it was comparable to the rate paid to New Zealand Queen's Counsels when determining compensation claims.

Justice Binnie has also received almost $34,000 for travel and other expenses, but that bill could rise slightly once the ministry receives more of his receipts.

Radio New Zealand reported that Binnie has travelled to New Zealand four times over the past 11 months to talk to Bain and others involved in the two trials.

Justice Minister Judith Collins received Binnie's report last month.

There has been speculation that Justice Binnie's report found Bain innocent and he should be paid compensation in the range of about $2 million.

Collins said the report would not be released until the Cabinet had decided whether to pay compensation.

She indicated a decision is expected before the end of the year.

The Press