Teina Pora eyes compo after retrial wiped

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Teina Pora's battle with the law is finally over, and his attention is now turning to the matter of compensation.

Tenia Pora’s attention has turned to compensation now the Privy Council has ruled he will not face a retrial for rape and murder.
Source: 1 NEWS

The 39-year-old's convictions for the 1992 rape and murder of South Auckland woman Susan Burdett were quashed a month ago. Now the Privy Council in London has recommended he doesn't face a retrial.

Teina Pora gathered with friends the night he learned his convictions were quashed a month ago.

With the prospect of a retrial, he remained on tenterhooks - but no longer.

Mr Pora told his friend Steve Hodge the news this morning.

"I got a phone call early this morning and he said 'can you ring me urgently'. I thought 'oh God'. But it was all good news. And yeah, he was very happy. I think he'd been crying," Mr Hodge told ONE News.

Mr Pora's lawyer, Jonathan Krebs, says his client appreciates that this marks the end of his connection with the justice system over "this horrible crime".

Mr Pora was twice convicted for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett. But his defence team argued to the Privy Council that a confession he made to police was false. 

The Privy Council threw out the convictions and sought submissions from the Crown and defence as to whether he should be re-tried.

The Crown says when it considered Mr Pora had already spent more than 20 years in prison and was on parole at the time his appeal to the Privy Council was granted, it decided it wasn't in the public's interest to push for a retrial.

Now an innocent man, he's eyeing compensation for those two decades spent behind bars.

"You can imagine after all that time struggling to find somewhere to live, you're damn right compensation is on the agenda," Mr Hodge says.

Mr Krebs says compensation will be discussed later. "In time we'll talk to Teina about his wishes in that regard and then we'll move through the appropriate channels."

In 2001, David Dougherty received more than $800,000 compensation after a wrongful conviction saw him spend three years in prison.

One law expert, law professor Bill Hodge, says there's no set formula for assessing any payout.

"We could be looking at the minimum, something like $2million, the maximum something like $20million," he says.

It's a difficult decision. Mr Pora would be the first seeking compensation for spending more than half his life in prison.

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