Monday, 20 September 2004 - 5:01pm |

Student agent

1 min read

Police Prosecutions are reviewing systems after a 21 year old woman, Jindi Liu, was able to leave the country after charges against her were withdrawn.

Fundamentally this was a communication error, says Inspector Gary Lennan, O/C Police Prosecutions, South Island.

"A mistake was made by the prosecutor concerned in relation to the name of the defendant who was called," he explains.

• Ms LIU was not scheduled to appear in Court on 25 August 2004, however she presented herself at Court and arranged for her case to be called.

• The Court List for the day on 25 August 2004, had a defendant with a very similar name to that of Ms LIU.

• When that name was called the prosecutor mistakenly thought that the file on the official court list was the one that had been called. That file related to a defendant who faced a minor shoplifting matter.

• From that point Police prosecutions were referring to one defendant, as outlined on the file – whilst the Court was referring to another, Ms LIU.

• The charges then read out against Ms LIU were the minor charges that related to the other person,

• After disposal of those charges by way of Police diversion, Police withdrew the charges and the defendant was free to leave the court.

Inspector Gary Lennan, says that there were also systemic issues that contributed to this mistake.

"We are looking at our own processes and will be having discussions with the Courts to examine how we can prevent this from happening again," he says.

"To date we’ve focussed on what went wrong. We will determine what can be further done, if anything, in relation to Ms Liu’s offending."