Bain's claim put on hold

VERNON SMALL
Last updated 05:00 05/02/2013
David Bain
KIRK HARGREAVES/The Press
STILL WAITING: David Bain.

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The Government has agreed to put David Bain's compensation claim on ice pending his High Court challenge.

Prime Minister John Key yesterday said Cabinet had granted the formal request because Bain had asked for it through his lawyers.

"In the end it's his application for compensation. If he decides to want us to slow that process down . . . then there's no particular reason why we wouldn't agree to that."

Bain's lawyers are seeking a judicial review of Justice Minister Judith Collins' handling of the case and sought to have the claim, for wrongful conviction and imprisonment over the 1994 murder of his family, to be put on hold.

Bain is not entitled to any compensation as his application falls outside Cabinet guidelines, and Key said whether he received compensation or not was a matter solely for Cabinet.

Collins had briefed ministers and remained comfortable with the actions she had taken, "and rightfully so", Key said.

She needed to make recommendations to Cabinet based on advice that was reliable. Her position was that she could not rely on retired Canadian judge Ian Binnie's report because it was out of scope of the letter from former justice minister Simon Power setting up the review.

Collins said the judicial review proceedings would lead to further delay.

Justice Binnie's report in late August 2012 said Bain should receive a payout and was innocent on the balance of probabilities.

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