Research into the Peter Ellis case

Ross Francis made this Official Information request to Ministry of Justice

The request was refused by Ministry of Justice.

From: Ross Francis

Dear Ministry of Justice,

On 4 April 1999, Sir Thomas Thorp wrote to Val Sim, the then chief legal counsel at the Justice Ministry. The Crown Solicitor had apparently informed Thorp that the jury in the trial of Peter Ellis was “conservative”, that it convicted “only on those counts supported by initial evidential interviews”. Thorp said the Crown Solicitor was “plainly mistaken”.

“For example”, said Thorp, “the evidence of Complainant A produced convictions for three offences, none of which were mentioned in her first evidential interview. The evidence of Complainant G also resulted in three convictions, none supported by his first evidential interview”.

Please supply me with a copy of the Crown Solicitor’s comments referred to by Thorp regarding the Crown Solicitor's mistake. (Apparently the Crown Solicitor sent a 46 page response – I do not require the whole document.) Please also supply me with the Justice Ministry’s response to Thorp’s letter, and a fax from Sim to Thorp dated 1 April 1999.

Sir Thomas Eichelbaum made a similar error to that of the Crown Solicitor. In his final report he claimed that “where the number of interviews was excessive, generally allegations arising out of the later interviews did not form the subject of charges”. In fact, nine of the sixteen counts on which Ellis was convicted came from allegations elicited in subsequent interviews.

In his draft report, did Eichelbaum make the same (or similar) mistake that he made in his final report? Please supply me with a copy of the relevant part of Eichelbaum’s draft report, and any comments from the Ministry to Eichelbaum about this issue.

Yours faithfully,

Ross Francis

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From: Watts, Jerram
Ministry of Justice

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Attachment OIA Response R Francis 10.10.2019 attachment A.pdf
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Attachment OIA Response R Francis 10.10.2019.pdf
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Hi Mr Francis,


Please find attached your OIA response.


Kind regards, Jerram



[1]Description: Description: Description: Jerram Watts
Description: Senior Media Advisor | Communications Services
Ministry of Justice | Tāhū o te
M 027 291 3518 P 04 918 8980 |
Ext 58980
[2][email address]
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