Police confirm they won't lay charges over deadly CTV building collapse during Christchurch earthquake

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1 NEWS

Police have decided not to prosecute over the deadly collapse of the CTV building during the Christchurch earthquake in February 2011.

They said it's their last hope to get someone to answer for the deaths.
Source: 1 NEWS

Their decision reaffirms an earlier decision not to prosecute.

"It is still the Police position that the decision not to prosecute was correct when all of the relevant evidence and opinions are taken into account, not just individual pieces of information," Detective Superintendent Peter Read said in a statement today.

The decision comes despite police acknowledging their were "significant deficiencies in the building's design". 

Mr Read said police and Crown Law have now reviewed the statement issued by Professor Maan Alkaisi on April 11 about the decision to not bring a prosecution regarding the collapse of the CTV building in February 2011.

Professor Alkaisi's wife, Dr Maysoon Abbas, died along with 114 others when the CTV building pancaked catastrophically in the earthquake and he has been fighting for accountability and improved seismic engineering standards ever since.

Mr Read said the decision not to prosecute was made by police after considering the advice of the Christchurch Crown Solicitor and the Deputy Solicitor-General and meeting with them to discuss that advice. 

Professor Alkaisi stated that the Deputy Solicitor-General "did not appear to be aware of all the relevant facts" regarding the decision.  

He highlighted two matters which he stated were opportunities to rectify design problems in the building, and which he believes the Deputy Solicitor-General was not aware of.

Mr Read said both of these matters were expressly considered by the Crown Solicitor in his report and the Deputy Solicitor-General in his peer review.

"Those matters were also addressed in the Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission (CERC) report, the Beca report and the Police report, all of which were considered as part of the investigation and decision making process," he said. 

"Police, the Crown Solicitor and the Deputy Solicitor-General are satisfied that all relevant information was taken into account."

Police concluded, and remain satisfied, that there was no reasonable prospect of obtaining a conviction in this case"
Detective Superintendent Peter Read

Mr Read said police fully agree there were significant deficiencies in the building's design. 

These were highlighted by the Royal Commission and the police investigation, as well as the expert opinions sought as part of the investigation, he said.

"However the Deputy Solicitor-General and ultimately the Crown Solicitor and Police considered the evidential test was not met. 

"Police concluded, and remain satisfied, that there was no reasonable prospect of obtaining a conviction in this case.

"We again acknowledge and understand that this has been a very difficult decision for the families of the CTV victims. 

"We have tried to be as open and transparent as we can in publishing information to assist in their understanding of the complex, technical issues involved," Mr Read's statement concluded. 

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