NZ Local News

Golriz Ghahraman: Ex-Green MP and Judge Maria Pecotic previously worked together as lawyers

Editor Written by Editor · 1 min read >


The judge presiding over Golriz Ghahraman’s court hearing yesterday previously worked on cases with the former MP when they were both lawyers.

Criminal barrister Marie Dyhrberg KC and former Auckland District Law Society president told 1News the judge would have been “very much alert” to the “reality of not having bias” but also the “perception … which is really important”.

A perceived conflict of interest can be raised by lawyers or the judge.

The District Court Recusal Guidelines read: “The guiding principle is that a judge is disqualified from sitting if in the circumstances there is a real possibility that in the eyes of a fair-minded and fully informed observer the judge might not be impartial in reaching a decision in the case.”

A judicial spokesperson on behalf of the Chief District Court Judge’s office said no perceived conflict of interest was raised.

They told the Herald yesterday’s appearance was managed appropriately and without deviation from standard procedures or any special dispensation.

Former Green MP Golriz Ghahraman outside the Auckland District Court yesterday. Photo / Dean Purcell
Former Green MP Golriz Ghahraman outside the Auckland District Court yesterday. Photo / Dean Purcell

The hearing was originally scheduled for March 20 but a joint memorandum was filed by the parties seeking guilty pleas to be entered.

This resulted in the matter being brought forward to March 13.

“Media who had previously had applications approved were notified of the new date and time and the matter,” a judicial spokesperson said.

Ghahraman, who was the Green Party’s justice spokesperson, pleaded guilty to four shoplifting charges yesterday, concerning the theft of nearly $9000 worth of items from three clothing stores.

She was remanded at large by Judge Pecotic until her sentencing on June 24.

No conviction was entered on any of the charges but may be at Ghahraman’s sentencing.

Judge Maria Pecotic, pictured when she worked as a lawyer. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Judge Maria Pecotic, pictured when she worked as a lawyer. Photo / Jason Oxenham

The charges were for offending which occurred on four separate occasions at Scotties Boutique in Ponsonby, Standard Issue in Newmarket and Cre8tiveworx in Wellington.

She took a black Zambesi shirt valued at $695 from Cre8tiveworx and $389 navy blue cardigan from Standard Issue.

On two occasions she stole items from Scotties Boutique, these include a $1900 black Acne Studios single-breasted coat, a $160 Comme des Garcons wallet and a charcoal grey Bao Bao Issey Miyake Lucent bag, worth $650.

She also took a $333 Two Squares simple black slip dress, a black Row calanthe dress, valued at $4500 and a $290 black Lemaire crepe tank top.

In an earlier statement, Ghahraman, who resigned from Parliament in January, apologised for her behaviour and said she did not excuse her actions.

She cited “extreme stress” and linked it to previously unrecognised trauma. She said she was seeking help from mental health professionals.

In her statement, Ghahraman said the stress had led her to act in ways that were “completely out of character.

“I am not trying to excuse my actions, but I do want to explain them.”



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com