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Bain deal 'an abomination': Karam

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/08/2016

David Bain (L) with his supporter Joe Karam leaves court following his acquittal in 2009 © Getty David Bain (L) with his supporter Joe Karam leaves court following his acquittal in 2009 David Bain accepted the government's $925,000 settlement because he despaired of the politicised process that was stacked against him, says long-time supporter Joe Karam.

Mr Bain, who in his 2009 retrial was acquitted of the murder of five members of his family in Dunedin in 1994, this week had his bid for millions of dollars in compensation rejected.

However, the government, which wants to avoid further litigation, agreed to make an ex-gratia payment of $925,000, in recognition of the six-and-a-half years

On Friday, Mr Karam - influential in getting Mr Bain's convictions overturned - released a statement condemning the Callinan report which said Mr Bain's innocence could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

The legal advice was that the report, which was not peer reviewed like the first pro-compensation Binnie report, was "riddled with errors of fact, inconsistencies and one-side treatment of the evidence", Mr Karam said.

"The real reason the government settled on this basis was to avoid a further judicial review which would have been extremely embarrassing for Cabinet."

"Mr Bain for his part despaired at continuing to deal with a politicised process where he felt the cards were overwhelmingly stacked against him, and so decided to accept the offer."

Despite Mr Bain accepting the money, the resolution was "an anathema, an abomination to the principals of justice and fairness".

In releasing his statement in Auckland, Mr Karam held up a work suitcase he had bought in 1996 for the Bain files, and said he would now hope to be able to put it on the bonfire.

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