A High Court judge has reserved his decision on whether
twice-convicted murderer and rapist Teina Pora will be
Pora, 38, has spent 21 years behind bars for the 1992 rape
and murder Susan Burdett in Auckland.
He was present in the High Court at Auckland today as his
lawyer Jonathan Krebs argued for his release ahead of his
Privy Council appeal.
After hearing from Mr Krebs and Crown lawyer Matthew Downs,
Justice Lang reserved his decision.
Legislation means all discussion today is suppressed.
Last week the Court of Appeal ruled it didn't have
jurisdiction to grant bail and referred the matter back to
the High Court.
Mr Krebs has said pursuing bail for Pora, who also has a
parole hearing set for the end of the month, was important as
a successful result would enable him to be free of conditions
set on his sentence.
At his first trial in 1994, Pora was found guilty of the
murder of Ms Burdett, who was beaten with a softball bat in
the bedroom of her south Auckland home in 1992.
Pora had confessed to police but a retrial was ordered as
doubts began to emerge about his involvement.
However at the retrial in 2000, Pora was again found guilty.
Outside court Mr Krebs said today's hearing was "fair and
It took place 21 years to the day since Pora was taken into
"It hadn't occurred to him that it was 21 years since he went
to the police station," Mr Krebs said.
"We reflected on that and saw the irony to a degree of today
being the day that we made a bail application."
Mr Krebs described Pora as "robust" and grateful for his
"He's had so many knocks over the years. He's a very
philosophical young man. He accepts advice and he's hopeful
that soon he'll be out in the community."
Pora and Mr Krebs hadn't discussed the "mechanics" of what
would happen today and whether Pora would walk out of court a
Two points the court would have to weigh up were if it had
jurisdiction to consider bail and the merits of the appeal,
Mr Krebs said.
"The biggest issue for us is focussing on October or November
when we're before the Privy Council."
For now, Pora faces a nervous wait. Justice Lang indicated
his decision would be out before the end of next week.
On the following Monday, Pora will appear before the Parole
- By Jimmy Ellingham of APNZ