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A retired Canadian Judge has been appointed to assess David Bain’s compensation claims for wrongful imprisonment and conviction.
Lawyers that have worked alongside Mr Bain in the past notified justice minister Simon Power last year of his intention to claim compensation but have since been unsuccessful in seeking legal aid.
He is now attempting to pursue his compensation claim without legal aid and without his former representation.
Justice Minister Simon Power said in a media statement retired Canadian Supreme Court Judge Ian Binnie would assess the compensation claim.
“Due to the long-running and high-profile nature of the case, and after consultation with Mr Bain’s lawyers, it was decided a judge from outside New Zealand would be appointed,” Mr Power said.
Bain was acquitted of murdering his Dunedin based family after 13 years in prison and a lengthy 3-month trial in 2009. In March 2010 Mr Bain notified the minister he would claim for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.
Mr Power said Mr Bain’s claim for compensation falls outside existing Cabinet guidelines because he was acquitted following a retrial in 2009.
“Because [Bain’s] case falls outside the guidelines, something more is required that demonstrates that the circumstances are extraordinary, and Justice Binnie will decide the best process for assessing Mr Bain’s claim against this test,” said Mr Power.
“Justice Binnie’s appointment is a significant step in attempting to resolve Mr Bain’s claim for compensation and a step towards achieving finality in this case.”
Justice Binnie has a distinguished career and was chosen from an extensive list of several senior judges. He was appointed as Queen’s counsel (Ontario) in 1979 and later served as Canada's associate deputy minister of justice from 1982 to 1986.
After politics he served on the bench of the Supreme Court of Canada for over 13 years.
Justice Binnie will immediately begin work on the case.