Something to think about in the ongoing Police saga

Dear Editor,

Two weeks ago, the charges against the Commissioner of Police were withdrawn by an “Independent prosecutor”. So just who is this so called “independent prosecutor” that was engaged by the Attorney General to handle this case?

Paul Dacre, a name we now know as the prosecutor who withdrew the charges against the Commissioner of Police. 

Enter his name on google and you find that he is a lawyer based in New Zealand. A little more search on the internet and you find that he was the lawyer involved in the case against John Banks, a New Zealand Member of Parliament. 

According to the information on the internet; John Banks won his case because the prosecutor withheld evidence that he had a duty to provide to the Court and to John Banks. 

The New Zealand Court of Appeal had said that the effect of the conduct of the prosecution was “to mislead the court”; that the prosecutions conduct was a “serious error of process”. 

John Banks won his case and also won costs against the prosecution for NZD$66,000.00. John Banks then in May this year filed a complaint against the prosecutor of his case.

Some months later, Mr Dacre then comes to Samoa to be the prosecutor for the Commissioner’s case, instructed as Mr Dacre says, by the Attorney General. However even though he was instructed by the Attorney General, he seems to make a point to emphasise to the media in Court that he “never discussed the case with the Attorney General”. 

The question then is, who did he discuss the case with? 

How did he obtain the background of the case then? 

The police were shocked like everyone else at Court when Mr. Dacre stood up and withdrew the charges. The talk in the police is that in an earlier meeting with Mr. Dacre, he led the police to believe that he would be proceeding with the charges. 

There was no consulting them on the withdrawal of the charges or any issues he may have had with the evidence. 

So if he did not talk to the police, did he talk to the original prosecutor or the original overseas prosecutor that was first instructed for this case?

The question comes, why did the Attorney General and Government fight so hard to take control of this case and give it to an overseas prosecutor? 

The fight to take control of this case is no secret, it supposedly resulted in the suspension of an officer of the National Prosecution Office, the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry and a review of the National Prosecution Office – all with the end result of the case being taken under the control of the Attorney General, the chief legal advisor of the Government.

The New Zealand Court of Appeal called a judgment by Mr. Dacre in the Banks case an “error of judgment”. Did this “error of judgment” make him the “perfect” candidate to take over the Commissioners prosecution and end up with withdrawal of charges? Have we just experienced another concerning “error of judgment”? Just saying!




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