Opinion: Justice Binnie has accused the government of "shopping around to try to get a report that will allow it to dodge paying up", because they have rejected the report that he prepared for them in 2012, in which he recommended that David Bain should be awarded compensation for his alleged false imprisonment. However, the retired judge, reportedly at least, illustrates perfectly why his report was rejected by standing by his recommendation that David Bain should be awarded compensation. The problem with this is that making such a recommendation is not one of the things that he was asked to do, and this was pointed out by the previous Minister of Justice at the time.
In my opinion, Binnie is just having sour grapes for not meeting the requirements asked of him and having his work rejected for being sub standard. The fact that he still thinks that David Bain should get compensation in my opinion illustrates that he still does not understand. He still thinks he did the right thing.
I shall repeat here the main findings of Justice Fisher in relation to why Binnie's report was rejected:
- In assessing innocence and misconduct by authorities, Binnie made fundamental errors of principle.
- Binnie criticised named individuals without giving them adequate opportunity to respond.
- Instead of assessing each piece of evidence to see what effect it had on the likelihood of innocence, he discarded any item not individually proved on the balance of probabilities.
- Instead of requiring David Bain to satisfy him on the balance of probabilities throughout the inquiry, he imposed an onus on the Crown wherever the Crown suggested a factual possibility inconsistent with innocence.
- Instead of founding his conclusions exclusively upon the evidence available to him, he drew an inference adverse to the Crown on evidence where, in his view, the police ought to have gone further in their investigations.
- He appeared to accept Bain’s version of events without question except where it directly conflicted with other witnesses.
- He discarded evidence such as blood stains on David Bain’s clothing, broken glasses, his fingerprints on the rifle and Robin Bain’s possible motive.
When Binnie was interviewing people in this country in 2012 and preparing his report, I was astonished to find one of my colleagues from counterspin emailing Binnie and getting into conversations with him. That seemed to me to be highly unprofessional. How can you claim to be working in an environment of objectivity when you make yourself prone to any old Jack and his dog to push their agenda on you? Answer: you can't. In my opinion, Justice Binnie lacked objectivity. At the time I was concerned about the proximity that Joe Karam, David's main supporter, had to the judge, and if my mate was able to email him randomly, then what is to stop informal banter between Karam and Binnie taking place? It seemed to me that the conclusions of Binnie's report mirrored those of Joe Karam, and therefore were not made independently/objectively, which is what he was required to do.
So, in my opinion, based on the facts above, the personal testimony of my friend in the Justice for Robin Bain Group, in my opinion, Binnie failed, and he is just expressing sour grapes about his failure.
If you are commenting on this blog post, then please do not make any inferences from these meaningful questions and express them on this site. You may reiterate similar concerns but take it no further.