The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Aaron has laid into Hide, saying he has gone too far in pursuing the David Benson-Pope stuff and is now veering into the area of persecution rather than prosecution.

It seems to me that there is actually a huge disadvantage for DBP in not being charged, and the same holds true for Peter Hodgson over his alleged "technical assault" of Madeliene Flannagan.

By not being charged both men are effectively denied the opportunity to mount a credible defence. Because they are not being charged it isn't sub judice so they don't have that out. But at the same time they need to just get on with their lives, and their jobs, and not spend time on defending themselves.

I'm not saying either have total defences (or even credible ones) - what I am saying is that because they are not being charged we will now never really know their side of the story, as they would have told the court (i.e. under oath, with the possibility of a guilty verdict and a sentence hanging over their heads, encouraging them to find witnesses and other evidence in their defence).

So basically both men, in particular DBP, can now be slurred and tainted in relation to prima facie cases until (and probably beyond) the point at which they shuffle their mortal coils.

As Tristan has pointed out - the police don't always get it right, otherwise why bother with the judiciary? This particular point seems to have totally escaped the man who went into bat for others when another Govt department, the IRD, got it very wrong indeed.

In closing, I am not saying that either men are innocent. What I am saying is that only one side has been constructed to anywhere near judicial standard and that is the prosecution in both cases, which is far from enough information on which to make a judgement. Unfortunately many have already made their call and nothing short of an outcome in court that contradicts it will sway them. And of course that can't happen as no charges have been laid.

Political pointscoring has been the winner on the day.

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