Teina Pora case: funding case re-investigations

By Anna Sandiford 14/03/2013

You may or may not have seen 3rd Degree’s programme last night about the case of Teina Pora, a south Auckland boy imprisoned in 1994 for rape and murder, the former that DNA testing shows he did not commit and, after a retrial in 2000, for murder based on confessions. There has been comment about the case today including Morning Report and Radio Live with Willie & JT Teina Pora – Radio Live 13Mar14.

The focus is about false confessions and the police investigation.  However, the case doesn’t end there; there is a significant body of scientific information in this case as well but we have struggled to gain access to it, for the reasons to which Mr Krebs refers in the Radio Live interview.

Having been involved with this case for 2 and a half years and having worked on several large cases like this now, although Legal Aid has funded much of the Pora investigation, this case would not have got as far as it has without a massive amount of time for which Legal Aid will never be billed just because it takes so long to carry out so much of this work. As Mr Krebs indicates, there was also a massive amount of unpaid work completed before Legal Aid could even be approached, particularly by Tim McKinnel and also Mr Krebs before Legal Aid would even consider whether or not to fund the further investigations – that time and cost can never be recovered.

There is significant work ahead, for this case and others, some of which will be paid and some of which will not, but it is work that must be done because we have to have confidence that our legal system will deliver justice.  Funding for case re-investigations is a major hurdle that many people can never overcome.