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National wants to take away our right to silence

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, March 20th, 2015 - 109 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, national, same old national - Tags:

One of the legacies of Mike Sabin’s time in Parliament has resurfaced.  He claimed to be responsible for the development of a private member’s bill where the right to silence would be compromised if the complainant was charged with certain offences against children.  If the bill is passed an adverse inference can be drawn if the defendant exercised the right to silence.

The bill resurfaced this week in the name of of Ian McKelvie.

Sabin of course has now gone from Parliament so that he can deal with personal issues.

The bill represents a direct attack on the right to silence which is one of our most cherished rights.  It should always be up to the state to prove guilt, and the fact that a defendant chooses not to respond should not put them in a worse position than they would otherwise be.

If passed the bill could have significant implications.  For instance the prominent New Zealander currently before the courts on various charges may be glad that his or her case is being dealt with before the passage of the bill.  There is some speculation that this person may have had lunch with David Cunliffe.  I am not sure that this is correct.

The Herald reported that this prominent New Zealander faced charges including indecent assault charges where the maximum penalty is ten years jail.  This suggests that the complainant may be under the age of 12 and the exercise of the right to silence by the prominent New Zealander could result in an adverse inference being drawn if Sabin’s bill has been passed.

The prominent New Zealander has on the last possible day lodged an appeal against the refusal to continue their name suppression and the decision will in all probability be at least a month away.  I am all for the identities of victims being suppressed but I do think that prominent New Zealanders should at some stage face up publicly to allegations against them.

Please note there should be no speculation on the identity of the prominent New Zealander while the suppression order remains in place.  Moderation has been turned on to prevent speculation on who this prominent New Zealander may be.

But it is important that there is public debate about such important issues as the right to silence and any proposals to change this long recognised right.

109 comments on “National wants to take away our right to silence ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    NSW lawyers have already figured out how to protect their clients from National Party ethics.

    …lawyers must be physically present when police tell defendants of the new laws.

    …the lawyers are finding ways around it…

    “The biggest problem is that when police officers are trying to question offenders for serious or indictable offences, we’re finding that lawyers aren’t turning up, or they’re giving advice over the phone.

    Will the Sabin McKelvie Bill have enough votes? Anyone know what Rimmer & the Hair think about it?

    • Tracey 1.1

      Anyone know what is occupying the Maori Party these days. Are the media ignoring their press releases?

  2. dv 2

    Winston says Northland should know.
    Is he going to parliamentary privilege to tell us about the prominent NZer?

    • Skinny 2.1

      Just to think Key was intending to make him a cabinet minister as stated in this interview with the local rag. Pity Key never mentioned if it was a minister of justice or police, or was it youth affairs?


      ( hope link works been having problems linking)

      After watching Gower’s new item last night where he used historic footage of Sabin & his family I doubt very much Brook will be talking to Paddy today. Bit of a shocker really and doesn’t get much more blatant.

      [lprent: the http: prefix is important, it is how the site knows that you are trying to link. Otherwise it is a random phrase to the code. Fixed it. ]

      • Skinny 2.1.1

        Cheers Iprent new ph doesn’t display what’s before ( hyper text thingy) the m. Now I know.

        • Lanthanide

          Yeah, it’s kind of silly that modern browsers are often hiding the http:// part of a URL like that. Chrome is doing it for me right now, although if I copy and paste it out, then it does include the http, even though it doesn’t show it in the bar.

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      The Speaker made it clear at the start of the year, that the circumstances surrounding Sabin’s resignation from Parliament are off-limits for discussion.

      The standing orders outline that the NZ house of representatives aims to uphold the independence of the court, and so any discussion of matters that have been suppressed by the court must first have written approval of the speaker before they can be raised in Parliament.

  3. Puckish Rogue 3

    Yes well Little suggested the burdon of proof should be changed in certain cases as well however

    My first reaction is yes the right to silence should be removed in certain cases because its hard enough (from the books I’ve read anyway) to get a conviction if a child is involved so anything that makes it easier to get to the truth is welcome

    Also a case where David Bain is able to say what happened but doesn’t take the stand but his dead father is unable to defend himself from attacks just doesn’t seem right to me

    However I’m a layman (to put it politely) in these matters so if anything can explain succinctly why this bill is a bad idea I’d quite like to know

    • Tracey 3.1

      so in cases of children and murder/manslaughter you think the right to silence could go? just clarifying, not being a smart arse.

      what about rape where a victim is severely traumatised and frightened. what if it were a rape by multiple accused? Do you support a victim being grilled and their previous consensual sexual behaviour a line of questioning?

      just cos a victim is alive doesnt mean they are equipped to “defend” themselves in Court

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        The right to silence that we are talking about here is the right to silence of the accused, not the claimant/victim.

        • tracey

          er, yes… I know that…

          I was responding to PR’s bringing the inability of victims to speak as a reason to remove the defendant’s right… so I asked him/her if it was only for offences against children and in murder that s/he thinks that or in the types of cases I outlined.

        • fisiani

          There is no attempt to remove the right to silence. Everyone will still have the right to be silent in court. The writer of the OP has obviously not read the bill. Obfuscate for all your might but show me the part of the bill that removes the right to silence. You cannot because it is not there.

          • McFlock

            Everything after “however”.

            Pretending someone has a right to do something, then sending them to prison if they do it, is another tory lie. Which you’re known for, liar.

      • Puckish Rogue 3.1.2

        This bills going to open up a whole can of worms…

        But you make a good point ref: victim is severely traumatised and frightened so at what point does/should the right to silence be revoked

        and if the right to silence is revoked for some cases should it not be revoked for all cases

        This is why politicians get paid the decent money I guess

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          No, it shouldn’t, because it won’t work: the countries that have been stupid enough to implement it have experienced no subsequent change in the conviction rate.

          Oh noes! More evidence for you to ignore.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      Did you read the link at 1?

      One of the issues is that Police find it difficult enough to stay within the law while questioning suspects as it is. More rules for Mr. Plod to learn? Hello, mistrial.

      Another is that it will result in more wrongful convictions, while the real criminals have cunning lawyers (as per the link at 1).

      • tracey 3.2.1

        Given the problems specially trained officers had properly investigating claims by under age girls of sexual assault (including basic record keeping), I am wondering if we take away the Right to Silence we might as well just turn the police force (as investigators) back into traffic cops?

        In any event here is an article which is quite an interesting take on the right to silence and critics of it.


    • Puckish Rogue 3.3

      anyone can explain sheesh

      • tracey 3.3.1


        • Puckish Rogue

          Just reread what i posted and i should have put in anyone instead of anything, no biggie but just annoying is all

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.3.2

        How about the president of the Australian Law Society?

        An examination of the empirical data does not support the argument that the right to silence is widely exploited by guilty suspects, as distinct from innocent ones, or the argument that it impedes the prosecution or conviction of offenders.

        Oh noes! More evidence for you to ignore.

        • alwyn

          I’ll bet you never expected this, BUT,
          I am totally in agreement with everything you are saying on this subject. The proposals that have been made, by several parties, to wipe the protections that should be available to all defendants scares the hell out of me.

    • Molly 3.4

      Just as eye witnesses to a crime are inconsistent, so too is the testimony of those defending themselves. There are studies on false confessions that you can have a quick look at. This is an indication of the confusion that can be introduced to a trial, when inconsistencies are at play.

      In terms of a defendant, the accuracy of their testimony will depend on their personality type, sense of privilege or comfort in court, and their level of comfort in telling the truth.

      That is why the police case for prosecution should not rely on that confession or testimony.

    • I suspect the concept of the right to silence goes back to magna carta. It seems to me to be entwined with the ideas that it’s up to the prosecution to prove the case and that nobody should be compelled to incriminate themselves. Certainly, I know judges tread very carefully in their instructions to juries about reading something in to a defendant not taking the stand. The assumption should be innocent until proven otherwise.

      btw, Little was suggesting a change to the burden of proof, just that the investigation process in sexual assault allegations should not be adversarial, but inquisitorial. That is, should be focussed on the agreed facts. Given the appallingly low rate of complaints in that area, anything that makes it easier for victims to trust the system enough to come forward should be encouraged.

    • tracey 3.6

      “suggested the burdon of proof should be changed ”

      but the Labour party Policy did not…

      “Labour will:

      provide leadership to eliminate violence against women and children from the Prime Minister down with the lead agency being the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC),
      Adopt a collaborative, resourced, long-term New Zealand Action Plan to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Children in consultation with other parties and the sector,
      Provide $60 million over four years for family and sexual violence to support front line services, primary prevention, and education. This includes increased support for transitional housing,
      Reform the justice system to provide real justice to survivors while protecting the right to be presumed innocent. This includes providing specialist training,
      Review prosecution guidelines to ensure Police appropriately and consistently arrest and charge offenders, and review the operation of Protection Orders.”

      • alwyn 3.6.1

        You mean this story is all a load of garbage?
        Little was clearly advocating it and Cunliffe, the former leader was certainly quite happy to entertain the idea.

        • tracey

          I am pointing to the actual ratified Labour Policy alwyn.

          • felix

            I can see why alwyn is confused.

            In the National party, “policy” is whatever John Key said last time someone stuck a mic in front of him.

          • alwyn

            It appears that they did come to their senses and slap the fairly junior Mr Little down then.
            The problem may be that he is now the Leader and may revive the idea. Does that possibility not worry you?

            • felix

              It’s ok alwyn the Labour party has a leader, not a child-king.

            • McFlock

              It appears that they did come to their senses and slap the fairly junior Mr Little down then.


              If you mean that some of Little’s comments about the already-extant Labour policy were possibly clumsy and definitely blown out of proportion by your colleagues in the legitimate and 2nd-track media (who are not known for letting the facts get in the way of an anti-left panic), then yes.

              and also, what felix said.

            • tracey

              they didnt “come to their senses”, Mr little was WRONG. Presented ratified policy incorrectly, and I criticised him for it on here at the time.

              It would worry me, except that he presented it wrongly which is not quite the same as him secretly wanting it.

              Mr Key was considering Mr Sabin for Cabinet… even with the knowledge he had. Does that worry you?

    • HumPrac 3.7

      One reason is that if a person were up against a question which, if answered, could falsely implicate them as part of an alleged crime they were never part of, then they have an avenue with which to defend themselves (keeping silent).

      • tracey 3.7.1

        it seems there is evidence that if you remove the right to silence more accused use the forced situation to speak to lie and the number of guilty pleas drops (see article above i linked to)… counter productive socially and economically.

  4. Kris Gledhill 4

    The right to silence was removed in England and Wales a couple of decades ago: there is no evidence it has changed conviction rates. At a practical level, it causes vulnerable defendants to blurt out untruths in a panic. At a principled level, it is wrong because it changes the presumption of innocence: it requires presumptively innocent people to give an explanation as to why they are not guilty. That is why it is an important right, as it represents a right that counters the power of the state.

    What is needed to improve conviction rates is for the state to use better the extensive powers they already have to identify who has actually committed a crime by building a case against them, rather than giving them more powers that will undermine proper investigation because suspicion will be bolstered by a failure to explain rather than being bolstered by finding proper evidence. This is exactly the same as in relation to the constant expansion of surveillance powers: more powers are not needed because better use of existing powers will suffice.

  5. tracey 5

    Now would be a good time to examine other systems of Justice instead of continuing to assume that ours is the “best available”, and looking at ways to adapt the current system in some areas if deemed necessary. A better debate and use of money than the fucking flag

  6. Sable 6

    This is yet another example of creeping Fascism in this country. Time for the National Socialist party to go. They are a goose stepping disgrace on every level.

    • tracey 6.1

      This is reminding me of Capill’s shouting from the rooftops about family christian values while sexually abusing children…

      Dr Fahey’s 30 years of community work, while sexually abusing patients…

      methinks they all protest too much

    • Once was Tim 6.2

      “This is yet another example of creeping Fascism in this country.” (and elsewhere as another black youth is laid to rest in that ‘land of the brave’, Uncle Tom’s, freedom and demockracy and supersized supermen)
      It’s interesting @ Sable though huh? That’s how it goes though eh?as history is repeating itself.
      The last time I suggested the government was fascist (either here or on TDB pr somehwere else) there was a clamour of responses in the nature of ‘how very dare you!’ to ‘yea nah’
      This government is certainly the closest we’ve come to a fascist regime in our/my history/lifetime.
      All the legal eagles came out in “it ain’t necessarily so” fashion.
      I was amazed at the naivety and the reluctance to acknowledge how history is indeed repeating.
      Incremental little goose steps one by one that go unnoticed by the many as rights are eliminated; bullshit and ideology is normalised bit by bit; thick shit icons are promoted and praised; signs and signals are used (just as today buzzwords and phrases that are fundamentally untrue); anti-intellectualism (book burnings); bribery; FEAR (amongst the judiciary and the GUV) …… bit by bit by bit….. Here a Hooton, there a Collins …. quack quack
      The best thing though is that it eventually ends badly for the 1%ers (usually as they scream for mercy and start apportioning blame to everyone else. (There’s a bit of that going on now wouldn’t you say?

      In all that’s happened over the past 6 years, I’m surprised at our judiciary (with exceptions) — but even more so a Gov (who I note recently started formally reminiscing about sacrifices in the past – all the while the reasons for those sacrifices are being played out now in 21C.

      (btw Just because various mechanisms are regarded as ‘ceremonial’ – such as the Royal Ascent, or procedures are based on historical precedence ‘never to be questioned’ doesn’t mean they HAVE to be. = the Aussies discovered that a while back – a Malcom F has just bitten the dust – but then it seems these days Okkers have bigger balls than their ‘little bros across the ditch)

      It’d be nice to see a Guv refuse Royal Ascent to the TPPA legislation (FOR EXAMPLE) …..just see where it takes us (as his role as protector of our sovereignty, and not someone who is subservient to the Master Key – whose son is a D-D-D-J dontcha know!) – but I think the cost of a tube of Polident seems to be more of a concern to him

      • Brendon Harre 6.2.1

        The Star Chamber http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Chamber

        Over time, the Star Chamber evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and its courts.

        One of the weapons of the Star Chamber was the ex officio oath where, because of their positions, individuals were forced to swear to answer truthfully all questions that might be asked. Faced by hostile questioning, this then gave them the “cruel trilemma” of having to incriminate themselves, face charges of perjury if they gave unsatisfactory answers to their accusers, or be charged held in contempt of court if they gave no answer.

  7. PI 7

    This is a law school classic – a talk by a US law professor on “Don’t talk to Cops”.


  8. felix 8

    Every year we grant the police more powers and more tools and every year they find new ways to abuse them.

    These clowns aren’t capable of using a notebook ffs, and we give them tasers.

    The entire institution is corrupt and sick beyond repair and it’s never going to change because they like it the way it is. The only change they’re interested in is more power for them and less accountability to us.

    • Anne 8.1

      +1 felix

      • Puckish Rogue 8.1.1

        thats a little over the top isn’t it

        • Tracey

          how many poorly handled cases of a sexual nature by the police in the last 30 years have had a commissioner tell us things are changing now. none say its a resourcing issue…

    • tracey 8.2

      Not just to abuse them, but they struggle with some really basic work, as described in the Roast Buster’s report.

      Considering the range of possible charges the young men could face
      Keeping decent paperwork/records
      Tracking victim commonality through computer system (can’t if haven’t inputted the info)

      These are BASIC investigative actions. IF that is a systemic problem as PR seems to be suggesting we are in DEEP shit, cos it means NO ONE (or as good as no one) in our pOlice Force can do this stuff.

    • Murray Rawshark 8.3

      + quite a bit.
      Poaka just want their jobs done for them and made easier. They already use tasers and pepper spray as punishment. I’ve never attacked a cop, but I’ve been handcuffed to a chair and had a drum solo tapped out on my ribs with a baton. One sergeant told me I was wrong when I said I had the right to remain silent. With a punch to my mouth for emphasis, he told me it was actually that I wasn’t obliged to say anything. Another constable punched me in the head for lying to him when I said I worked as a quantum physicist.

      Yeah sure, give those pricks more powers.

  9. felix 9

    edit: reply to Puckish Rogue 8.1.1

    I don’t think so. Read the roastbusters report and tell me what would happen to any private sector organisation that was so incompetent, corrupt, and morally bankrupt.

    Or any other public organisation for that matter.

    And then tell me why the same approach shouldn’t be taken with the NZ Police.

    • Puckish Rogue 9.1

      “The entire institution is corrupt and sick beyond repair and it’s never going to change because they like it the way it is. The only change they’re interested in is more power for them and less accountability to us.”

      I disagree, the way police handle things between now and in the 70s (probably at its worst) is a lot better

      Improvements are being made and continue to be made, while its not as quick as some would like it will take time however as some of the older, more entrenched cops are replaced by new cops attitudes will change

      • tracey 9.1.1

        Have you read the Roast Busters report released yesterday?

        • Puckish Rogue

          No I have not

          Are there issues that need to be sorted: yes

          Are the police better then they used to be at handling sexual offences: yes

          Do they still have quite away to go: yes

          Is the entire organisation corrupt and sick: no

          • tracey

            Why not?

            • Puckish Rogue

              Why should I read it? (genuine question here)

              • tracey

                You asked for a (costly) Royal Commission of Enquiry but didnt bother to read this?

                You have a whole bunch of beliefs about the state of the police force but don’t read the latest (up-to-date) analysis of how they do our business

                It will give you insight you may not have now and as someone who wants to support team police, why wouldn’t you want to read it?

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Because I doubt it will change any of my views but if a Royal Commission of Enquiry comes up with something I’ll support it

                  • tracey

                    Thanks for being honest PR

                    I am sorry you will advocate for an expensive enquiry that you won’t read.

                    I am also sorry that you only read things that you believe will support your current views.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      An occasion where pity is more appropriate than regret.

                    • tracey

                      I genuinely appreciated his/her honesty but it also made me quite sad 🙁

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Look on the bright side: opponents of democracy and the rule of law will never achieve very much with this level of incompetence.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I probably also should have added i’ve been quite busy which probably puts me into the majority of people in NZ on this one

                      which makes it even worse of course

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                So you can better concoct spin that ignores the evidence it contains.

  10. ghostwhowalksnz 10

    In practice in a lot of instances, the right to silence occurs ONLY after the police have formally given you a warning of such.

    This would be much later after questioning has begun in an informal manner. They are trained ( yes that surprises many in light of recent circumstances) to pump people right from the beginning.

    A right to silence warning would come just before they are asked to sign a statement if at all. It all then becomes part of a police case.

    • Murray Rawshark 10.1

      They can knock you around quite a bit before the formal stuff as well. Sometimes for 8 hours or more.

  11. Bill 11

    If a court is allowed to draw an inference of guilt from silence and the charges are related terrorism…

    I’m not saying it won’t impact elsewhere too, but convoluted cases, such as terrorist charges, where innuendo and suggestion may well be used to ‘paint a picture’ and where almost anything said in defense can be twisted or simply added to the picture, is where this law change will impact most of all.

    Years ago I ran across a guy who was beside himself because the authorities at Sellafield (nuclear plant in UK) were accusing him of stealing shit. I can’t remember the details, but it was very heavy duty and I remember how he related to me that everything he said or did merely amounted to a wriggle on the hook that they’d unfairly hung him from.

    Oh yeah. And how does a right to silence work in with torture? Given that NZ authorities are not somehow above that shit, doesn’t a right to silence kind of, at least to some degree, negate any desire to go down that path? (Again, I’m referring to charges like terrorism rather than our ‘common garden’ variety of charges)

    • greywarshark 11.1

      The influence on a Court and the law merely because you are inarticulate disadvantages people now. I have heard of people who can only speak a dialect of their national language not having their evidence received because of no or poor translators, and getting an unfair sentence. The possibility of drawing inferences and scenarios affected by prejudices and regarding them as facts negates all the seriousness with which we prepare cases and take them to a Court where facts are supposed to be paramount. And the facts need to be ones that you know. Things told to you are hearsay evidence and not admissible either at all or only in special cases.

      How can a refusal to give evidence be regarded as guilt in the eyes of law and justice, and the system remain worthy of honour and respect? All that the person can be charged for is being a person of interest who has refused to assist the police in the course of their investigation.

      With an acceptance of this lax approach by the law, there would be an excuse for torture of some serious nature to gain an admission that would seem damning to the police because of their wrong interpretation of the meaning of it. And people could never trust any evidence that police brought forth, and they would lose even more respect and standing with the community than they have in recent years. Already people can be severely tested in questioning by police, and held for a good length of time as well, questioned repeatedly for long periods.

      It would be better to my mind, when dealing with crime and difficult, criminally entrenched, and incorrigible people, to keep them locked up and then there would be less of them out repeating vicious and dastardly crime. Then less hardened crims causing trouble for the community and their police. There should be a true life imprisonment where they spend the rest of their days living and working on a prison farm in reasonable conditions, well guarded and not going out on parole at all, but able to see family, friends within the compound. That would reduce the serious heinous crime from the vicious and the half-mad that we now get. There would not be the numbers that cause this backward type of suggestion, from an ex-policeman. It would be a hammer to crack a poppy seed.

  12. Bill 12

    Anyone interested in arguments made around a change like this and the effects it will have could do worse that search ‘UK right to silence’. John Major wanted it gone from England and Wales back in 1993 – 1994. Plenty of both scholarly and non-scholarly articles available from those search terms.

  13. greywarshark 13

    I listened to the Assistant Commissioner this morning. Suzie Fergusson trying to break into his pat phrases. She had, we had, heard it all before. Why should anything change, they like it the way it is. In Louise Nicholas’ case – I don’t think they understood the abuse of power, privilege and trust was as bad as the rapes. The control and veiled threat that police have to make choices as to how you will be treated if you don’t comply is a strong weapon.

    There was recently on Radionz a reading of a novel by a NZer about rape and the abuse of power and it was very good I thought. I don’t see if it is still available on audio – it ran in February. But it is out as a book. Here are the Radionz details.

    Swimming in the Dark by Paddy Richardson
    10:45am Monday 9 February to Tuesday 24 February 2015

    Serena Freeman is a fifteen-year-old Alexandra girl from a dysfunctional family on the wrong side of the law. She finds herself pregnant following an unwilling sexual encounter with a police officer.
    Ilse Klein, her school teacher and a former citizen of Leipzig (where she endured loss and distrust under the rule of the Stasi) takes the dangerous risk of hiding Serena. Gerda Klein, Ilse’s mother, has been broken by the Stasi. After years of living in dread in Leipzig, she wants a quiet life in New Zealand. No involvement, no risk.
    Ilse’s actions and Serena’s suffering force her to confront her own past. It is she who summons the courage to save them all. A fast-paced and beautifully told story of three women and the real meaning of courage.
    Warning: Not suitable for children. Some sexual episodes and a violent death, all of which are vital for the narrative/character development and which are treated as delicately as possible while still telling the story.

    Told by Michele Amas

    Produced by Duncan Smith and engineered by Phil Brownlee

  14. aerobubble 14

    So you get jury service, and the judge asksyou if there is any reason you should be disqualified, and you reply. That you believe in the right to silence and you could not in good conscious find anyone guilty should it be a factor in deliberations. Now three possibilities arise, people use it to get out of jury service, second, juries disregard police interviews, and third, a both juries stacked with hang them high, while on similar evidence juries stacked with juries ignoreing evidence.

    But then thats the problem with stupid adaption to the justice system, like these issues have not been put to bed centuries ago. National does not trust juries and want juries to see all cases of silence as indicating guilt.

    Worse. Appeals. Judges will revisit verdits where juries may of seen silence as proof of innocence, and prosectors argue juries unlawfully ignored jail house squellors.

    And what happens when Police stop interviews when the alledged offenders refuses to talk with police until his lawyer is present?

  15. dave 15

    And honest john
    Knew nothing

  16. Lanthanide 16

    Whaleoil says something in this post that he shouldn’t have, and he can’t claim he’s quoting the Speaker, either:

    • … Oh my. That seems like a bit of a slip-up.

      • rawshark-yeshe 16.1.1

        That is from Paddy Gower and TV3 last night .. not from Slater, if what you refer to is the post that links thru Lanthanide’s donotlink.

        It’s TV3 saying it. Gower was very explicit in the main TV3 News last night.

        And Winston tweeted yesterday that he has given Gower and exclusive for The Nation tomorrow.

        I am certain this will all come out before the election — it’s too poisonous for the country if it doesn’t, and Winston and many others know and understand that. Including Key who no doubt has spies reading this as I write ..

        • Bill

          I missed it initially too. It’s Slater’s final line, not a part of the cut ‘n paste job, that Lanth is referring to.

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            Slater is absolute *rubbish* when it comes to making it clear which bits are his “original” content and which bits are copy-pasted from elsewhere. Sometimes I think it’s deliberate.

            • tracey

              YUP, he puts the tv3 news reference after his own statement instead of after the quote…

          • tracey

            Indeed… which breaches the order, in my opinion cos it names the subject of the suppression order…

            • rawshark-yeshe

              Agreed .. he could be in trouble.

              But I like his honest headline, a ‘festering political wound”.

              • tracey

                I think when it shifts from breaching an order cos “I dont believe anyone should get suppression” to “maybe apolitical party has been manipulating or hiding the real situation for several elections to dupe the voters” it is major public interest.

                Maybe instead of seeing the name as the most important thing to be revealed, perhaps the tack would be to reveal what the details of his alleged crimes are…

                • Lanthanide

                  There is already sufficient detail of the crimes (see Herald stories).

                  Releasing very specific details about the crimes some nebulous ‘Prominent New Zealander’ is accused of doesn’t achieve anything.

        • rawshark-yeshe

          Well, this is what Winston said yesterday — completely unambiguous !! and Paddy Gower reports …


    • tracey 16.2

      Is Mrs Mike Sabin called Catherine?

      I only ask cos she was secretary for the school Board of Trustees (Mangonui School) of which Mark Osborne was/is trustee.

      This seems a small community and for osborne to be saying he heard nothing is implausable… to say he heard rumours is likely, imo.

      • tracey 16.2.1

        This is what TV3 attributed to M Osborne yesterday

        ““The reality of it is I knew nothing until the end of last year, and they are only rumours, and that is what they are still,” he says. “I still know nothing about the details.”

        • rawshark-yeshe

          those purple and pink piggies just flew over in perfect formation again, Tracey !!!!

          ( and did you find the link I posted on the RoastBusters post for the Amy Adams etc tv links for yesterday ?)

  17. Richard Christie 17

    Here is a lecture that explains the issues and reasons that lie behind the right to silence and the danger of this bill.

    For the benefit of Puckish Rogue and others who don’t grasp the issues .


  18. Jay 18

    Our entire “justice” system is skewed in favour of rich white defendants. Part of the problem is that truth plays little part in it, discovering the truth certainly isn’t the goal of the court, and “good” defence lawyers often do their very best to prevent it from ever coming out.

    This is part of the reason why most accused rapists to begin with are acquitted.

    We need the european inquisitorial system here in nz. One plus is that fewer innocent people are found guilty (although to be fair very few are at present anyway).

    The main difference though is that the judge is like an investigator, he weighs up the evidence and seeks the truth. Of course this leads to a far greater risk that the defendant will be found guilty.

    It also does away with our pitiful jury system that churns out travesty after travesty (usually wrongful acquittals)

    Doing away with the right to silence will not fix anything. The system as a whole is archaic and has consistently failed for centuries.

    • KJT 18.1

      I am afraid that more than a few innocent people do get found guilty. Usually of being young, brown and a stupid teenager. Something we have all been guilty of.

      If you are young white, at Otago University, and can afford a good lawyer, you get off.

      If you are young, brown, and before the justice system, the lawyer advises you to plead guilty because you cannot afford a defence, and the judge will be less tough on you, if you plead guilty.

      I have serious reservations about how our system treats both victims and accused.

    • Murray Rawshark 18.2

      “Of course this leads to a far greater risk that the defendant will be found guilty.”

      I’m not sure that’s the case at all. I have a friend who is a judge in São Paulo. He thinks money plays less of a part when he can be inquisitorial. I suspect Teina Pora would have not been found guilty in an inquisitorial system, and a decent judge would have condemned the poaka involved for contempt of court.

  19. Ecosse_Maidy 19

    I’d like this bill to be applied to John Key ..when he is asked a question.

  20. Jay 20

    Murray: Yes under an inquisitorial system Pora would have had a greater chance of acquittal. You’d have a highly trained judge weighing up evidence, not a jury three quarters of who don’t care, most of who will be dominated by one or two people, and all of who are totally inexperienced and untrained anyway.

    My point is that every day in nz guilty people walk out of court Scot-free. Far fewer would be acquitted under a system where the Judge actually directs and carries out an investigation, and where he/she looks for the truth.

    The jury system is farcical and archaic in the extreme. Imagine how confused they all must be at the Lundy trial right now!

    • rawshark-yeshe 20.1

      and this would be one of the reasons why “prominent New Zealander” has elected trial by jury, no doubt …

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