Mark Lundy is set to have the quashing of his murder
convictions tested at a retrial after the Justice Minister gave
the strongest indication yet that the case will go back to
Judith Collins said a retrial for Mr Lundy, who was released
on bail on Friday after 12 years in jail for the murder of
his wife and daughter, will "no doubt go ahead".
The case would be heard in the High Court, but it is up to
the Crown to decide if it will try the case again, after the
Privy Council unanimously voted to quash Mr Lundy's
convictions and ruled he should stand trial for a second
Ms Collins told TV One's Q+A programme the case would
go to trial.
"He's been granted a retrial, and that will no doubt go
ahead," she said.
However, she refused to be drawn into more detail about the
case, specifically in relation to the reliability of evidence
used at Lundy's first trial in 2002.
"I can't really comment on individual cases, particularly a
matter which is now before the courts again, so it's
difficult to do that," she told TVNZ political editor Corin
"But that's a matter which will no doubt be canvassed during
Earlier this week the Privy Council overturned Mr Lundy's
convictions for the murder of his wife Christine and daughter
Amber, 7, in Palmerston North in 2000.
The Law Lords unanimously voted in favour of the appeal, and
said the case should be tried again amid concerns about the
reliability of scientific evidence and police disclosure in
Ms Collins was adamant the justice system "is working"
following criticism over high-profile cases, such as Lundy's
and David Bain's which have poured doubt over police methods
and reliability of evidence.
"The public shouldn't have any loss of confidence," she said.
However, she conceded that "sometimes police will get things
wrong", but added: "The vast majority of the time, they
"We have 85,000 criminal convictions a year in this country.
Of those, only 1 per cent are appealed, and of that 1 per
cent that are appealed, only 10 per cent are successfully
appealed. So that's about 99.9 per cent of all criminal
convictions every year are upheld."
Ms Collins continued: "[H]alf of all people convicted of
murder in this country will appeal. And I don't believe for a
moment that half of all the people convicted of murder are
not guilty, but half of them will appeal."
She denied prisoners face difficulty appealing their
convictions, and said there was no need for a change in the
current system to one more like the UK.
"[T]he fact is that when you have such a tiny minority of
people appealing under the current system, that tells me that
a lot of people accept their convictions," Ms Collins said.
- By Patrice Dougan of APNZ