Across The Ditch with Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey: Recorded live on 5/03/15. This week, Teina Pora’s murder conviction quashed by Privy Council + an update on the Cricket World Cup + Investigative journalists begin releasing NZ’s Snowden Files.
This is a big issue… The Privy Council has quashed another high profile murder conviction, further raising concerns that New Zealand’s justice system has been failing victims, defendants, and society.
Teina Pora was convicted in 1994 for the murder of Susan Burdett, a 39 year old who lived alone in Papatoetoe, South Auckland.
Teina Pora was 15 years of age at the time of the killing, and 17 at the time of his trial. He spent 21 years in prison for the murder.
The victim, Susan Burdett, was brutally raped, then bludgeoned to death with a softball bat that she kept beside her bed for her own protection.
There was no forensic evidence to suggest Teina Pora had been at the scene of the murder. There was nothing to connect him to the crime. But after Police announced a $20,000 reward was available for information about the murder, Pora approached Police with a story suggesting mobsters were responsible.
Soon after, Teina Pora’s story morphed into a confession. Police charged him with the murder, and a bewildered Pora faced trial.
In the last five years, journalists Phil Taylor, Eugene Bingham and Paula Penfold began investigating Mr Pora’s case. They found he suffered and suffers from foetal alcohol syndrome, his mother died of cancer when he was four years of age, his father was absent from his life, and as a child he was passed from Aunty to Aunty without ever really having a home.
The Privy Council heard expert opinion that claimed Pora’s confession was unreliable in the extreme, that a semen sample found at the scene of the crime matched Auckland serial rapist Malcolm Rewa. That Rewa’s modus operandi was a stalker and lone wolf rapist, that it was unlikely he would have had an accomplice, and that his crimes were becoming more and more violent. Rewa was convicted for having raped 27 women.
While Teina Pora was doing time in prison for the murder, Malcolm Rewa was also tried twice for Susan Burdett’s murder. At the conclusion of both trials the juries failed to reach a verdict, even while Rewa was found guilty of having raped her.
With the Privy Council having quashed Teina Pora’s conviction on Tuesday night, the Police and Crown Law are now considering whether to retry Pora for the murder.
Meanwhile, Dean of the University of Canterbury’s School of Law, Associate Professor Chris Gallavin, said Tuesday night, there was “a good chance” that the Attorney-General, on advice of the Solicitor-General, could push for a fresh Rewa murder trial. (ref. LiveNews)
Cricket Update… (we experienced significant variable audio delay and bursts during the beginning of the Cricket discussion. Apologies for the muddled few sentences.)
ITEM THREE: This is a breaking story. Investigations based on leaked documents sourced from US whistleblower Edward Snowden are being published this week that detail how New Zealand Government spies on its neighbours in the South Pacific, then sends the intelligence to the United States.
More on this issue tomorrow on FiveAA’s breakie programme.