Leaked David Bain report will lead to 'witch hunt' – lawyer

The former president of the Criminal Bar Association is “surprised” a confidential report on David Bain’s compensation bid has been made public, believing there will be a “witch hunt” to find the leak.

In March last year, Justice Minister Amy Adams appointed Ian Callinan, QC, a retired judge of the High Court of Australia, to conduct a new inquiry into Mr Bain’s compensation suit.

The cabinet had earlier decided to set aside all previous advice relating to Mr Bain’s claim and conduct a fresh inquiry, with Mr Callinan asked to advise whether he is satisfied that Mr Bain has proven that he is innocent of murder on the balance of probabilities and, if so, whether he is also satisfied Mr Bain has proven he is innocent beyond reasonable doubt.

Details of the report were today revealed by the New Zealand Herald, which reported Mr Bain had not been found to meet the beyond reasonable doubt threshold, in a blow to his compensation claim.

Ms Adams today confirmed she has received the report from Mr Callinan but is not commenting on “media speculation” about what the report might say.

“In accordance with the agreed process, parties now have an opportunity to provide any further information they wish me to consider in respect of the report,” she says.

“I will not begin consideration of Mr Callinan’s report and the advice I will take to the Cabinet, until I have that information.”

The former president of the Criminal Bar Association, Gary Gotlieb, tells NBR Radio he cannot believe the report was ever made public, saying there will likely be a “witch hunt” to find out who leaked it.

“Something’s become public before it should become public and we don’t know if that, in fact, is what the new report is meant to be saying.

“It may not be a completed report and it may not be accurate of what’s being said.”

He says Mr Bain’s compensation bid appears to have become “a bit political,” saying the government seems to be “shopping” to get a report which suits it.

“To me, the test is innocence on the balance of probabilities.

“This is talking about innocence beyond reasonable doubt, which is almost an impossible test.”

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