New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush today made a long overdue concession: “We believe that Teina Pora is innocent.”
Asked who he now thought was guilty of murdering Susan Burdett in ’94 – charges for which, incidentally, Teina Pora served over 21 years in a high security prison – Bush’s response was predictable: “…Malcolm Rewa.”
Teina Pora was recently released from Paremoremo where, since entering as a 17-year-old Foetal Alcohol Syndrome sufferer and living the majority of his young adult life behind bars, he has since prevailed in his quest for compensation regarding wrongful conviction.
The problem the police face now, given that Mr Rewa has already been tried and found not guilty of the murder of Susan Burdett – the same woman who, along with a multitude of others he is currently serving time for raping – yet on account of New Zealand’s obfuscated legal system with its myriad technicalities and loopholes which can in fact result in a guilty party walking free but seemingly not the other way around, in that once somebody has been tried for a crime and had the charges dismissed, the ruling ‘Double Jeopardy’ makes it impossible to retry that person for the same crime – irrespective of how guilty the entire nation knows they are (New Zealand Police Force excluded because those guys just don’t seem to get it).
Double Jeopardy appears to be a technicality installed in a legal system by some idiot who grew up playing cops and robbers at school but who enjoyed it just a little too much; in fact he liked it so much that once he had grown into a grown-up recidivist law-breaker, he decided to turn the game more in his favour by adding a wonderfully counterproductive ruling which, although it takes a great deal of pressure off the legal system through eliminating so many tedious retrials and probably frees up judges’ Saturday afternoons for family time or golf, realistically, it serves largely to perpetuate the theme of expensive lawyers and innocent criminals.
Ultimately Teina Pora is a free man who now has a lot of cash at his disposal; Malcolm Rewa ought to be out of prison before impotency sets in.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Just Asserve
Photography by Bow Thyme