Tai Wairiki Rameka
From the Sunday Star Times 29th April 2001
THREE of New Zealand's worst sex criminals are planning an appeal to the Privy Council in efforts to have sentences of preventive detention being served by 131 sex offenders ruled illegal. Prominent human rights lawyer Tony Ellis said he was confident domestic law and international human rights legislation had been breached in sentencing the three men to preventive detention, an indeterminate jail term with parole considered after 10 years.
The case, which Ellis expects to be heard by the end of the year, could force the reclassification of 131 prisoners - all men and all but one a sex criminal - handing many finite jail terms. A petition for special leave to appeal is expected to be heard in London in June. The attorney-general has certified that the case involved questions of "exceptional public importance" and that "the grant of criminal legal is desirable in the public interest".
In draft documents to be presented to the Privy Council, Ellis and Bill of Rights expert Antony Shaw argue the errors in law constitute a "gross miscarriage of justice". They are seeking about $50,000 in legal aid and travel costs. Ellis said preventive detention sentences were based on vague legal wording, breached the presumption of innocence and constituted arbitrary detention. "Put bluntly, preventive detention assumes that once a person is guilty, he will always be guilty."
The men are Tai Wairiki Rameka, Anthony James Harris and Tai Rangi Tarawa. Rameka has a previous conviction for the sustained knife-point indecent assault of his former de facto partner in 1994. Rameka was sentenced in Napier in 1996 to preventive detention for rape, 14 years' jail for a second rape and two years' jail for aggravated burglary and assault with intent. The charges relate to a four-hour knife-point attack on a neighbour in 1995.
His "human rights" case can be found here
Date of Birth
Sentenced to preventive detention in March 1996
Unsuccessfully appealed this sentence in June 1997
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Tai Wairiki Rameka Appeal Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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