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Man Appeals Murder Conviction

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, March 3 NZPA - Court of Appeal judges today reserved their decision on an appeal by a man against his conviction last year of an historical East Coast murder.

Paul Joseph Cameron, 38, was jailed for life after being found guilty of murdering his mother's boyfriend Balwinder "Babu" Singh in 1993 at a High Court trial at Gisborne last February.

Mr Singh's skeleton was found by forestry workers in Whakerata Forest, southwest of Gisborne, 12 years later in November 2005.

Cameron's appeal was based on a recorded conversation between him and an undercover police officer posing as a gang leader which was admitted as evidence during the trial.

The undercover police officer said he knew Cameron was a suspect in the murder, and could offer him protection. Cameron admitted to the officer that he had shot dead an Indian man.

His lawyer David Sharp told the appeal court judges the recording should not have been allowed, as it was unreliable and unfair to his client.

Mr Sharp had previously appealed the admission of the evidence in in the Supreme Court last August.

The Supreme Court rejected the appeal, saying Mr Sharp had sought to make a "leapfrog" appeal by bypassing the Court of Appeal.

During his trial, the jury was told Cameron and friend David Koia took Mr Singh to their cannabis plantation in the Wharerata Hills in October 1993.

When they arrived, Cameron and Mr Singh went one way and Mr Koia another. Cameron took with him a bag, which had a rifle in it.

On his walk back to the car Mr Koia heard what sounded like two gun shots. Moments later Cameron arrived without Mr Singh and told Mr Koia to "drive, drive".

When he asked where Mr Singh was, Cameron told him, "never mind, don't worry".

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