No new inquests into Bain deaths

New inquests will not be held into the deaths of the Bain family in Dunedin in 1994 unless someone requests them and the solicitor-general or the High Court grants that request, it was announced yesterday.

It was unlikely, at this stage, David Bain would make a request for new inquests, supporter Joe Karam said last night, despite Mr Bain's acquittal bringing into question the accuracy of the family's death certificates, particularly in the case of Robin Bain, whom Mr Bain's lawyers argued committed suicide.

"Of course, it may be, as time passes by, that David might feel some compulsion to investigate the records, but at this stage, I don't think it is a priority."

Mr Bain (37) was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his parents and three siblings at a retrial which ended last month in the High Court at Christchurch.

He had spent 13 years in prison after originally being convicted of the crimes.

Chief Coroner Neil MacLean said last month he would discuss the matter with former Dunedin coroner Jim Conradson and current Dunedin Coroner David Crerar to assess the death certificates and whether they felt an inquest was needed.

Judge MacLean said yesterday the inquest that was opened by the Dunedin coroner was completed in terms of the provisions of the Coroners Act 1988.

The inquests could now only be reopened on order of the High Court or solicitor-general.

A Crown Law spokeswoman said the solicitor-general had received no requests for new inquests into the Bain deaths.

If any were received, the solicitor-general would consider them carefully before making a decision.

Mr Karam said Mr Bain knew he had nothing to do with the deaths of his family and everybody knew they died from gunshot wounds, so holding new inquests was "of little event".

Under the law, an application for a new inquest can be made in cases where there is "fraud, rejection of evidence, irregularity of proceedings, discovery of new facts, or for any other sufficient reason".

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