Taranaki Daily News
Following the Kahui debacle, and the puzzling George Gwaze acquittal by a Christchurch jury, top lawyer Barry Hart has called for an inquiry into police competence.
The only thing to be said about the Kahui trial is that after the revelations of Macsyna King's lifestyle, the outcome was a foregone conclusion.
Whatever one thinks about the police, they aren't stupid, and they must have been 95% certain of that verdict before pressing charges. No one likes looking silly, so the most plausible explanation of their action is that they had an ulterior motive. Perhaps it is becoming clearer what that was.
One wonders if the police hand-picked the Kahui tragedy as a clear-cut example of why the law should be changed to their advantage -- by doing away with the legal right to silence in some instances.
This case screamed out for both "caregivers", and everyone else behind the wall-of-silence in that demented household, to be locked up indefinitely until one of them spat out the truth.
If the law gets changed, top marks to the police.
The Gwaze case was quite different, and indirectly revives a matter that has long troubled me.
Is there any specific reason why juries in Christchurch have produced such weird verdicts in recent years, and is it possible to assemble a jury in Christchurch that isn't stuffed in the head?
I was born in Christchurch and spent the first 18 years of my life there. It grieves me to see that sanity has so evaporated from the place of my birth that it is impossible to assemble a jury of 12 persons fit to be described as good and true.
Several years ago, in a book about the Peter Ellis trial, Christchurch was described by Lynley Hood as a city possessed.
The overwhelming national opinion on Peter Ellis now is that a grave miscarriage of justice occurred. The longer this running sore remains undressed, the more plausible is the suspicion that the highest levels of Labour's Rainbow wing are involved. (This disgrace needs sorting once John Key gains the keys to the Beehive.)
Harry Young, the father of one of the two unfortunate girls who were mown down in Edgware Rd in May last year, spoke of his family's anguish of having to wait four days for a Christchurch jury to reach a guilty verdict.
He was quite right. It was clear to the country from day one that Lipine Sila was "guilty as".
Maybe racist remarks were a factor why he "lost it", but once a car is moving, unarmed pedestrians pose no danger to a driver.
The reason those kids were killed and maimed on a street as wide as the Edgware Rd was deliberate intent fuelled by an anger management problem.
It took a Christchurch jury four days and nights to reach this simple conclusion.
Would the Kahui jury have taken any longer than an hour to convict that rat- bag? I doubt it.
What worries me is that Christchurch may be a harbinger for the whole country.
Has the contagion of PC that has infected Christchurch spread so widely that it is just a matter of time before the rest of the country follows it into collective madness?
Rather than the two cases suggested by Barry Hart, there is a more pertinent police matter that needs looking into; that is, is there any truth in Ian Wishart's accusation in his book Absolute Power, that police leadership has been corrupted at top level, and that they are (secretly) controlled by the Prime Minister's department -- just like in old Stalingrad?
Few who have read Wishart's book would have been surprised at the response of police top brass once the PM had expressed (understandable) outrage at the Kahui shambles. In reiterating that the case wasn't closed, they directly contradicted what local police said at the media briefing following the verdict.
Their haste wasn't indecent, it was outright obscene. Hands up anyone who thinks a meaningful police inquiry will be held by this regime.