All charges dropped against Pike Boss Peter Whittall

The NZ Herald reports:

Twelve charges laid against former Pike River Coal chief executive Peter Whittall in relation to the 2010 disaster at the mine have been dropped.

In a shock development in the Christchurch District Court this morning, the Crown said that after an extensive review it was “not appropriate to continue with the prosecution against Mr Whittall”. …

Mr Grieve said he had concerns with the prosecution case, including unsigned briefs of evidence, briefs of evidence that contained hearsay quotations, inadmissible opinion evidence, submissions and conclusions on matters of law, assumed and misstated facts, and speculative conclusions.

He also raised concerns over disclosure, and its investigations.

He wondered why they had not obtained data on company computers, cellphones or tablets, or memory cards and CDs.  

Sounds like the case was very thing and based ion emotion rather than actual facts. The decision though has allowed $3.41 million to now be distributed to families of victims.

“On October 25, 2012, Mr Whittall entered a not guilty plea to the charges. As a consequence of the informant’s decision not to proceed, funds which would otherwise have been used for the costs of the hearing have become available to enable a voluntary payment to be made to the families of the 29 men who died and the two survivors.

“As has been mentioned by the informant, the voluntary payment will be made on behalf of the directors and officers of the company at the time of the November 19, 2010 explosion.

“Mr Whittall wishes to reiterate his heartfelt sympathy for the families and friends of those men who lost their lives in the Pike River coal mine in November 2010.

“He has offered to meet with the families to convey these sentiments in person.”

That means $110,000 will be given to each of the families and survivors, an amount totalling $3.41m.

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