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Police hit back at Binnie

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall has hit back sharply at the Binnie report on compensation for David Bain.

"We don't accept Justice Binnie's opinion that the investigation by the Dunedin police contained egregious errors, or that there was a failure to investigate the possibility of innocence," he says.

"The Dunedin police were experienced officers. They had dealt with the Aramoana tragedy in which 13 adults and children were shot and killed, and had investigated two other familial homicides in close proximity to the Bain murders.

"This was a multiple homicide with a difficult scene. Reviews of that 1994 investigation found it was conducted in accordance with the standards or the day and without fear or favour."

In his report, Justice Binnie says police wrongly destroyed some evidence, and also mistakenly destroyed some.

Some errors in the investigation were made and they have all been thoroughly traversed by the courts, the commissioner says.

He notes the case is one of most scrutinised police investigations and cases in New Zealand. It has been through two high courts, two Courts of Appeal and the Privy Council. No new points were raised by Justice Binnie that have not already been extensively debated through the court process.

"In regard to the failure to investigate the possibility of innocence. Police investigators work on the weight of evidence. As the investigation progressed, the weight of evidence pointed to David as the killer. That evidence was put before the court," Mr Marshall says.

Yesterday, Justice Minister Judith Collins released reports on the issue of David Bain compensation by retired Canadian judge Justice Ian Binnie, plus a summary of a peer-review carried out by Robert Fisher QC.

Mr Fisher said Justice Binnie made errors of principle, did not give people the opportunity to respond, and exceeded his mandate.

[Please note. The comments on this story have been disabled  because of attempts to re-litigate the Bain case. - Editor]