The early release of double murderer Jason Reihana without telling his victims’ families is an appalling breach of victims’ rights and shows Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has lost control of his department, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.
“Jason Reihana carried out what can only be described as the brutal and heartless murders of the mother of his children and her new partner. I know how terrible the murders were because I was the Crown Prosecutor in this case. I remember it like it was yesterday, the murders were gruesome, premeditated and were carried out in cold blood.
“Reihana was sentenced to a minimum of 21-years in prison. The families of his victims’ were not informed he was going to be released nine years early. Reihana’s son, whose mother was murdered, came across his father when he believed he was still in prison.
“This is a case I will never forget prosecuting. If I had walked into a room and seen Reihana when I believed he was in prison I would have been shocked. I can’t imagine how his victims must feel.
“The crimes that Reihana carried out were so serious that he received one of the longest sentences this country has seen. He wasn’t eligible for parole but has been released on compassionate grounds because he has cancer. Where is the compassion for his victims?
“The families of the two people who were murdered are victims. They asked to be on a victims register which meant they should have been told when he was released, they filled out the paper work. That is simply not good enough.
“Corrections needs to immediately apologise, review its systems and ensure this never happens again.
“Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis is responsible for this department. This week it has been revealed that the man accused of killing 51 people in the Christchurch terror attacks was allowed to send inflammatory and intolerable views in several letters. There are clearly serious problems in Corrections and Kelvin Davis needs to answer to them.”