Kahui case: When will twins get justice?

Sunday Star Times 07 February 2010
The inquest into the deaths of one of New Zealand’s most high-profile child killings has been postponed indefinitely. Three-month-old South Auckland twins Chris and Cru Kahui were killed in June 2006, and their father Chris Kahui was acquitted of their murders in 2008. Since then the case has stalled, and the murders remain unsolved. Last October the chief coroner set an inquest date of February 22 in the Auckland District Court, but according to the court that date has now been “vacated”. No new date has been set.

It is understood a large number of groups are taking part in the inquest – including two district health boards, GPs, the Families Commission, children’s commissioner, the Ministry of Social Development as well as police, the Crown, Kahui, the twins’ mother Macsyna King and lawyers. The scale of the inquest meant more time was needed to prepare. But the Sunday Star-Times has learnt of misgivings among lawyers familiar with the case over what, if anything, an inquest will achieve. Chief Coroner Judge Neil Maclean has previously said an inquest would take a wider view of the deaths and look at whether anything could be done to prevent similar events in the future. However, those with knowledge of the case say public focus is likely to remain on debating who killed the twins rather than any lessons to be learnt from their deaths.