Wit­ness C on trial for per­jury

Pri­son in­for­mant ac­cused of giv­ing false tes­ti­mony in Tami­here mur­der trial.

Herald on Sunday - - ON THE TRAIL - By Phil Tay­lor

Aman ac­cused of ly­ing in the dou­ble-mur­der trial of David Tami­here goes on trial to­mor­row on charges of per­jury and at­tempt­ing to per­vert the course of jus­tice.

The man had tes­ti­fied that while they were in jail to­gether, Tami­here told him he had killed Swedish tourists Ur­ban Hoglin and Heidi Paakko­nen and dis­posed of their bod­ies at sea.

The case to be heard in the Auck­land High Court is a pri­vate pros­e­cu­tion brought by long­time pri­son in­mate Arthur Tay­lor.

The de­fen­dant is ac­cused of giv­ing false tes­ti­mony at the trial of Tami­here for the mur­ders.

His name and iden­ti­fy­ing de­tails were sup­pressed 27 years ago at the trial in which he was re­ferred to as “Wit­ness C”.

Tami­here was con­victed. He was re­leased from pri­son in 2010 af­ter serv­ing 20 years.

At the trial, Wit­ness C tes­ti­fied that Tami­here had told him he had met the Swedes at a pic­nic or camp­ing area, sex­u­ally as­saulted and killed both — Hoglin by beat­ing his head with a lump of wood, and dumped their bod­ies at sea in the Firth of Thames.

Hoglin, 23, and Paakko­nen, 21, dis­ap­peared in April 1989 af­ter leav­ing their car at the end of the Tararu Stream road in the Coro­man­del Ranges.

Hoglin’s re­mains were dis­cov­ered by pig hunters in 1991 in the Went­worth Val­ley near Whanga­mata on the East Coast, about 70km from where the mur­ders were al­leged to have taken place. An ex­am­i­na­tion in­di­cated he had been stabbed.

Wit­ness C was one of three jail­house in­for­mants who gave ev­i­dence for the Crown.

Tay­lor has said in court doc­u­ments that he had never met or spo­ken to Tami­here, that his mo­ti­va­tion for bring­ing the pros­e­cu­tion was “to main­tain the in­tegrity and rep­u­ta­tion of the crim­i­nal jus­tice process and demon­strate to any­one con­tem­plat­ing giv­ing false ev­i­dence that they can be held ac­count­able”.

Tami­here was liv­ing rough in the bush at the time the Swedes dis­ap­peared, hav­ing ab­sconded af­ter plead­ing guilty to hav­ing sex­u­ally vi­o­lated a woman in Auck­land in 1986.

He ad­mit­ted steal­ing the Swedes’ car but de­nied hav­ing met them.

Ur­ban Hoglin and Heidi Paakko­nen.

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