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Man pardoned for notorious Crewe murders goes on trial for historic sex charges

The man eventually pardoned for one of New Zealand's most notorious unsolved murders has gone on trial on five historic sex charges.

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Arthur Allan Thomas faces four counts of sexual assault and one of rape, with the Crown saying it will call a witness who will support the allegations. Source: 1 NEWS

Arthur Allan Thomas faces four counts of sexual assault and one of rape.

The Crown says it will call a witness who will support the allegations, but many details of the case are suppressed.

The now 83-year-old Thomas was pardoned in 1979 and paid $950,000 in compensation for wrongful conviction for the 1970 murders of Harvey and Jeannette Crewe. 

The farming couple were shot to death in their home in Waikato before their bodies were discovered in the Waikato River. Their 18-month-old daughter, Rochelle, was found distressed but otherwise unharmed. 

Thomas's lawyer says he strongly challenges the Crown case, which is set down for 10 days in the Manukau District Court.