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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Koretake Paki

What reason is there for the Crown Law to be appealing a discharge without conviction for a drink driving offence and a theft from a car?

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NZ Herald:

Korotangi Paki, 19, was let off charges of burglary, theft and drink driving by Judge Philippa Cunningham after his defence counsel successfully argued a conviction would ruin his chances of succeeding to the throne.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to all the charges, which related to two separate incidents dating from March this year and October 2013.
In a statement, media advisor for Crown Law Jan Fulstow said an appeal had been made.
"Crown Law does a very careful and thorough review of cases such as this before a decision is made.
"Having now completed a review of this case Crown Law has today filed an application in the High Court to appeal the matter.

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But what has this to do with Crown Law?  Who told them to commence a review?  If the only reason for the review was because Mr Paki is the son of Kingi Tuheitia then there is a problem here.  Maybe it was the police prosecutor who made the request?
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However, police prosecutor F. Gul Qaisrani, opposed a discharge without conviction, saying it would send the wrong message to society.
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How often do Crown Law step in to appeal what are quite minor offences such as these?  How many times a year would this happen - is this routine?  Was the police prosecutor unable to appeal on their own for some reason?  I pose these questions because to an outside observer it would appear the NZ Government was trying to disinherit/disqualify a successor to an authority that rivals it's own.  Why else would the Crown be doing this?   What pressure has gone on here?

Which look is worse: letting a 19 year old off a conviction because it would disqualify them from holding a responsible office to which they were expected to succeed; or having the talkback/talkhate radio of braying, ranting, racist red necks determine prosecution strategy and the merits of appeal?  The District Court decision doesn't appear unreasonable or unjust - it's a line call.

If Crown Law are appealing just because he is the King' son then they are making an error of disproportionate and special treatment - the same thing they say the District Court judge has done.

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