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Crown Law NZ shamelessly Milked the Public Purse
The Alacrity with which Meridith Connell as Crown Law advised MNZ is suspect considering the Attorney General’s Prosecution Guidelines were not followed
Their Decision to Prosecute had to meet an Evidential Test & a Public Interest Test – both tests would’ve failed.
They were covered in 2 posts about 20th March entitled “M Pigneguy’s Claim didn’t meet the Evidential Test” & “Public Interest Is Not Served By A Wrong Decision”
Although Bolton was not guilty & Crown Law had the discretion Not to Prosecute, this option was unreasonably disregarded.
Coincidentally & shortly after this prosecution went ahead, the NZ Herald gave publicity to concerns which were circulating …
“Crown Solicitors' "Honesty System" of Billing in Review”
(The 'honesty system' billing is weighted by the seniority of the solicitors charging and the poor management by Crown Law and Government departments who often have no real idea about the costs of prosecution.
Prosecution services, including Police and other prosecutions, cost the taxpayer $75 million a year,
The Crown Solicitors’ budgets have continued to swell,
Many government agencies really have no clue how much prosecutions will cost.
In fact, cost is not a recognized factor in determining whether a prosecution is in the public interest.
Cases may be incentivised to be prolonged due to ongoing fees and the review notes that the lack of financial controls and lax controls generally makes the Crown Solicitors’ largely an “honesty system” in terms of pay.)
Public Information about the costs incurred by MNZ for the prosecution was requested by Julian Joy through the Official Information Officer – It was over $70,000 for the payments to Meredith Connell & Barry Young without including MNZ’s staff costs which if included would put it probably well over $100,000
It was evident throughout, that neither Crown Law nor MNZ were interested in the facts of the case but pursued Bolton’s prosecution with a tenacity which abused the Court Process, the Maritime Public & the Interests of Justice.