Right To Silence Prevents Justice for Baby Waru

Family First NZ is repeating its call for a review of Right to Silence laws as a result of the Coroner’s report into the death of 7-month-old Staranise Waru from Christchurch.

“The right of the parents to refuse to answer questions from the police investigation and then refuse to answer questions at the Coroner’s inquest has meant that the truth surrounding the death of Waru has been effectively withheld and prevention of similar cases in the future has been impeded,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Both parents should be held accountable until they fully disclose their involvement and demonstrate their innocence.”

Family First made a similar call last year as a result of this case and also the death of the Kahui twins, both which occurred in 2006.

“The police acknowledge that the closing of ranks by the families and the ‘right to silence’ and refusal to be interviewed has stonewalled both these investigations. Yet we now have three victims of child abuse screaming for justice and nobody held to account.”

“The rights of victims to justice and the urgent need for offenders to be held accountable far outweighs the right to silence and other privileges that families may seek to use to mask their guilt or involvement,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“The laws should be changed to reflect this priority.”

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