Charge of negligence raised in Kahui case

Sunday Star Times  21 Oct 2012
A legal expert says police could charge Chris Kahui, found not guilty after a seven-week trial in 2008 of the murder of his twin sons, with being a negligent parent. After a review prompted by coroner Garry Evans, police said last week they would not lay further charges over the 2006 deaths of 3-month-old twins Chris and Cru. The decision came three months after Evans found their injuries were inflicted while they were in their father’s care, ruling out the involvement of their mother, Macsyna King. Kahui is all but protected from facing another homicide charge because of double jeopardy provisions in the Bill of Rights Act that say a person, once acquitted, can be prosecuted for the same charges again only if there is compelling new evidence. But Auckland University’s law school associate professor Bill Hodge said there was a strong legal argument that police could charge Kahui for a different crime. “There are other possibilities in the Crimes Act,” he said. Hodge said the most obvious was section 152 that says every parent, or those in charge of a child under 18, has a duty to take reasonable steps to protect them from injury.

…Family First national director Bob McCroskie said King could also be accused of negligence. “She wasn’t around. You have to look at what’s directly related to the critical time, that period before the deaths.”