David Bain's first defence lawyer has emailed Justice Minister Judith Collins to say that, in his opinion, his former client had made a "damning admission" which in his view "shatters any suggestion of innocence".
The email was sent by disbarred lawyer Michael Guest to the Minister of Justice on September 10, just weeks after she received a report from retired Canadian Justice Ian Binnie saying Mr Bain was "factually innocent" and should be compensated.
Mr Guest's email became a factor in the decision to have Justice Binnie's report peer reviewed. On September 26, Mrs Collins wrote to retired Justice Robert Fisher saying Mr Guest's email, concerns from the police and her own issues "led me to consider that I need to proceed to this peer review".
Mrs Collins confirmed the link to the Herald, saying it added to concerns raised by herself, the police and the Crown Law Office.
Unfortunately for David Fisher and the NZ Herald, someone beat them to this breathless scoop. NZ Truth editor Cameron Slater blogs:
David Fisher has taken time out from gazing longingly into Kim Dotcom’s eyes to write an article obviously intended to try to poofinger Truth and our story about David Cullen Bain.
Unfortunately for David the paper was delivered yesterday and is available in stores now.
What David fails to tell the readers of the Herald is that it wasn’t actually the Herald that obtained the Official Information Act request…it was the Herald on Sunday…and they ran their story about this to Sundays ago conveniently ignoring this little bombshell because it didn’t suit their activism on behalf of David Cullen Bain. You will note that the article published two Sundays ago in the Herald on Sunday, editor Bryce Johns implies that Michael Guest said Bain should be paid compensation…when you will see below he says nothing of the sort.
Now we see the Herald on Sunday has passed on their OIA response to the NZ Herald…so much for the chinese walls and editorial independence ..shattered now…and have published an article 11 days and two Sundays after the Herald on Sunday received their response from the minister’s office.
The Herald on Sunday and now through David Fisher have been caught talking out of both sides of their collective mouths.
You can buy Truth at thousands of outlets nationwide to read the real story…look for the cover pictured right.
Meanwhile here is the full release of documents Truth obtained under the OIA, including a second letter that Michael Guest wrote on the 21 December 2012. AS you can see the claims by Bryce Johns that Michael Guest said that Bain should be paid compensation are a fiction…one the Herald on Sunday was only too ready to peddle to its readers.
In the interests of making sure the Truth is told I am publishing all of the documents.
All the documents released to Slater and NZ Truth can be viewed here. Of particular interest in addition to Michael Guest's correspondence is the lengthy response from Assistant Police Commissioner Malcolm Burgess which whilst accepting some of Justice Binnie's criticisms rebuts far more.
As we have said many times in the past, we are mere bush lawyers. But given that Bain and Karam were so publicly critical of Guest's initial representation of Bain in the first trial, it beggars belief that Binnie J regards Guest's information as legally privileged. By not hearing Guest on a key issue of credibility, we reckon that Justice Binnie has committed a clear breach of natural justice. Guest himself refers to "common law authority" claiming that Bain and Karam effectively waived privilege some time ago.
It would seem that the Bain case is not going to be resolved with haste. Nor should it be, when there are still so many unanswered questions. If Michael Guest's allegation that David Bain lied whilst giving evidence in the first trial can be supported, it could well be a fatal blow to Bain's compensation claim.