Alan Hall: Crown Law’s role in prosecution referred to police

The police are to review the role of Crown Law in its prosecution of Alan Hall, who was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent 19 years in prison.

In June, the Supreme Court exonerated Hall and declared a miscarriage of justice after the Crown admitted a key witness statement had been altered.

Hall was 23 when he was found guilty of the murder of Arthur Easton at his Auckland home in 1985.

An independent report by Nicolette Levy KC into Crown Law's actions has been referred to the police. She investigated how and why the prosecution failed to disclose material information to the defence.

Crown Law is not releasing the Levy report at this time, saying it wants to avoid jeopardising a police investigation, but Hall and his family have been able to review it.

In a statement, they said, "It answers some important questions about what happened to Alan over the last 37 years. It is gruelling to see some of the detail regarding what is alleged to have occurred, but we are comforted that the truth is finally starting to emerge."

During the investigation, a witness told police he saw a powerfully-built six-foot Māori man fleeing the scene. But Hall is a five-foot-seven slightly-built Pākehā.

The description of the man's ethnicity was removed from the witness statement and not presented to the court or Hall's lawyer.

Alan Hall, who spent 19 years in jail for a murder he didn't commit.

Owe it to Hall, Easton

The Solicitor General Una Jagose KC said she's now referred aspects of the matter to the police, who will decide if any further investigations are required and if any offence has been committed.

"We owe it to Alan Hall, Mr Easton, and both their families to follow through on matters raised in Ms Levy’s report. I recognise that referring the matter to the Police will add more time to an already lengthy process for them, but it is an important step to take," said Jagose.

Police's Assistant Commissioner Lauano Sue Schwalger said in a statement the report would be looked at as part of an investigation led by acting Detective Superintendent Graham Pitkethley, "under the original terms of reference".


More Stories