New details of Teina Pora's appeal to the Privy Council have
emerged as the twice-convicted murderer and rapist applies
Pora, 38, appeared in the High Court at Auckland yesterday,
exactly 21 years after he went into custody.
He has twice been found guilty of the 1992 rape and murder of
Susan Burdett in Auckland but has been granted an appeal at
London's Privy Council.
Discussion at bail hearing is normally suppressed but Justice
Graham Lang has given APNZ permission to report most of what
was said yesterday.
Pora's lawyer Jonathan Krebs outlined what he said was the
strength of the appeal to the Privy Council, including new
expert evidence about false confessions.
Ahead of his first trial in 1994, Pora confessed to police.
Doubts then began to emerge about the case and Pora was
granted a re-trial in 2000, but was again found guilty.
Mr Krebs said Pora had recently been diagnosed with Fetal
Alcohol Syndrome, which raised doubts about whether he
understood what he was confessing to.
"It will be argued that the confessional material is so
demonstrably unreliable that it ought to have been taken away
from the jury."
Without that, there was no forensic evidence to place Pora at
the scene of the crime, Mr Krebs said.
After Pora's first trial, serial rapist Malcolm Rewa was
convicted for raping Ms Burdett.
His DNA was found at the scene and at Pora's re-trial the
Crown argued the two acted together.
But Mr Krebs said that ignored the fact they were associated
with rival gangs and that Rewa had an erectile dysfunction
That the re-trial jury was not told of Rewa's problem was
down to error on the part of Pora's then lawyer.
Crown lawyer Matthew Downs said there were doubts about the
expert evidence Mr Krebs had obtained on false confessions.
And of the five grounds of appeal put in front of the Privy
Council, the law lords had not accepted three.
Justice Lang suppressed other parts of the discussion and
reserved his decision on bail until next week.
Pora will also have a parole hearing at the end of the month
but Mr Krebs has said he would prefer Pora to be bailed as
people on parole can be recalled to prison instantly.
- By Jimmy Ellingham of APNZ