4 February, 2013
David Bain requests delay
Cabinet has agreed to a formal request from David Bain to delay its consideration of his application for compensation for claimed wrongful conviction and imprisonment, says Justice Minister Judith Collins.
“Mr Bain is not entitled to any compensation as his application falls outside Cabinet guidelines. The process for considering Mr Bain’s application and any decision regarding compensation is entirely at Cabinet’s discretion.
“Cabinet has agreed to put Mr Bain’s application on hold, as he has requested.
“Mr Bain has filed judicial review proceedings which will lead to further delay,” Ms Collins said.
No further comment will be made while this matter is before the courts.
This is an interesting move by the Bain camp. Clearly, no decision can be made while the High Court considers the application for judicial review filed by Bain last week. However that ought not necessarily cause a lengthy delay.
So we wonder if this decision is political in intent. Could it be that Bain and Joe Karam believe that a Labour government, aided and abetted by the Greens might be more generous with the public chequebook?
There's an element of risk in that strategy, of course. For a start, this isn't a political issue. Had Justice Ian Binnie's report to the Minister of Justice not been legally and factually flawed, there may already have been a decision from Judith Collins.
Secondly though, if a Labour/Green government is not elected next year, will Bain leave the application on hold? Is he prepared to wait until 2017?
Lastly, it makes it difficult for Messrs Bain and Karam to claim that there is some sort of state-sanctioned conspiracy to delay Bain being awarded what he clearly believes he is entitled to.
It is going to be very interesting to see how this plays out.