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Newstalk ZB
December 3 2004

Girls to appeal compensation offer

The Justice Minister has confirmed three teenage girls sent to jail for a crime they did not commit have been offered around $160,000 each in compensation for loss of liberty, reputation, and emotional distress.

Lucy Akatere, McCushla Fuataha and Tania Vini spent seven months in jail for aggravated robbery of a school girl in Mount Roskill in Auckland in August 1999.

Their convictions were overturned at appeal when two principal witnesses retracted their testimony.

Phil Goff says the compensation offer was first made to the girls in March last year, but despite months of negotiations it has been rejected.

He believes the offer is fair and the matter will now go to court.

An initial hearing is set down for December 14.