Updated: 7:45am – David Tamihere says the use of jailhouse snitches was the only thing holding together the double murder case against him and they should not be relied upon.

Harris’ evidence at Mr Tamihere’s 1990 trial included claims Mr Tamihere had confided in him, disclosing how he had sexually abused Swedish tourists Heidi Paakkonen and Sven Hoglin before murdering them.

Mr Tamihere was found guilty and was sentenced to life. He was paroled in 2010 and has always maintained his innocence.

He told Morning Report today the case against him did not hold up without the secret witness testimony.

“These guys are actually the centrepiece of the case, everything else is just smoke and mirrors.

“Once they had given their evidence, that was it, she was all over as far as any chance I had of winning the argument.”

He said there was always a deal involved in secret witnesses and the Crown was actively looking for people in prison to testify against him.

Mr Tamihere said the testimony of witnesses who had nothing to do with the crime could not be relied upon.

“The only ones who might carry credibility are blokes who flipped on their own mates, they were actually part of the crime they were talking about

“But these so-called cellmate confessions, no, I don’t think you can rely on them.”

He said they were only used when it was a “dodgy” case.

“That’s when you’ll see these secret witnesses coming up out of the woodwork.”

Harris shot Carol Pye, 28, and and her partner Trevor Crossley, 25, after an argument over marijuana in 1983. He was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison for the perjury convictions.


  • February 1983: Harris shoots dead Carol Pye and and her partner Trevor Crossley
  • May 1983: Harris committed to trial at the High Court in Whangārei
  • December 1992: Harris released on parole
  • October 1994: Harris recalled to prison after complaints of assault and demanding money
  • August 1995: Harris swears an affidavit, claiming the police induced his evidence at trial with a promise of $100,000
  • July 1996: Harris flip-flops again, withdrawing all allegations of police bribery
  • March 2007: Harris paroled for the second time but immediately recalled to prison after a complaint that he indecently assaulted a 14-year-old girl
  • 2010: Tamihere granted parole
  • April 2013: Harris’ has a Human Rights Review Tribunal claim dismissed
  • September 2016: Arthur Taylor attempts to have Witness C’s name suppression revoked ahead of Witness C’s trial
  • August 2017: Harris goes on trial, accused of perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice
  • September 2017: Harris convicted of perjury but found not guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice
  • April 2018: Harris loses name suppression, is publicly identified as Witness C


Featured image: David Tamihere outside court in 2017. Photo: RNZ

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