Focus on Police Competence
Police regret the amount of time it has taken to deal with the inquiry into the wrongful imprisonment of three teenage girls for a crime they did not commit, says Commissioner Rob Robinson.
The trio are seeking compensation -- likely to be hundreds of thousands of dollars -- after being convicted of an aggravated robbery and spending seven months in Auckland's Mt Eden women's prison in 1999.
They were freed when an Auckland lawyer and a private investigator persuaded police to reopen their case. The Court of Appeal later overturned the conviction and offered the girls "sympathy".
Lucy Akatere and Tania Vini, both 17, and Krishla Fuataha, 16, said they were nowhere near the scene of the crime in the Auckland suburb of Three Kings.
Police apologised to the girls but their lawyer Gary Gotlieb said they deserved compensation. The seven months they spent in jail had changed their lives and seriously damaged their education.
Mr Robinson said yesterday an internal inquiry report was still being finalised by the Auckland district commander.
However, police did regret the time it had taken to deal with the issues.