Teina Pora is "overwhelmed" by a Parole Board decision
that will see him released from prison after more than 21
years, his lawyer says.
Following a hearing in Auckland today, the Parole Board said
Pora was being released on parole because he no longer posed
an undue risk to the safety of the community.
Pora's lawyer Jonathan Krebs said afterwards that they were
extremely happy with the decision.
"It was an emotional moment for everybody.
"He's got a bit of time until the Parole Board decision
actually kicks in but he's overwhelmed.
"It's been more than 21 years since he was locked up and so
now he understands that he's going to go to bed each night in
the community - it will take a little period of adjustment
"The big message from the Parole Board today is that they
trust him, they don't want him back.
They wish him well and hope that he takes all the
opportunities that have been afforded to him to reintegrate
back into the community," Mr Krebs said.
Pora will be released at an undisclosed date.
The Parole Board said the reasons for its decision would be
released as soon as they were available and it would not be
making any further comment.
Pora has been granted leave to appeal against his convictions
to the Privy Council in Britain.
He was declined by the High Court on Friday after Justice
Graham Lang ruled that at present there was no recognised
jurisdiction to grant bail to a sentenced prisoner pending
appeal to the Privy Council,
Pora, 38, has spent 21 years behind bars for the 1992 rape
and murder of Susan Burdett in Auckland.
The board today raised concerns about the levels of media
interest Pora's case had attracted and as a result had added
a condition to his release that he did not interact with the
media, Mr Krebs said.
Pora remained a convicted murderer and his parole was granted
with strict conditions, Mr Krebs said.
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.
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.
After Pora's first trial, serial rapist Malcolm Rewa was
convicted of 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, he said.
Pora is due to face the Privy Council in October or November.