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.. in the end, there was no alternative but to make an explicit finding of credibility against the airline witnesses. I therefore reported to the Government in the following terms:

“No judicial officer ever wishes to be compelled to say that he has listened to evidence which is false...But in this case, the palpably false sections of evidence which I heard could not have been the result of mistake, or faulty recollection. They originated, I am compelled to say, in a pre-determined plan of deception. They were very clearly part of an attempt to conceal a series of disastrous administrative blunders&so, in regard to the particular items of evidence to which I have been referred, I am forced reluctantly to say that I had to listen to an orchestrated litany of lies”

JUST OVER SEVEN months after New Zealand's worst disaster-the crash of Air New Zealand's DC1O aircraft on the slopes of Mount Erebus in Antarctica with the loss of 257 lives-a Royal Commission of Inquiry began its hearings.

The Royal Commissioner appointed to report on the cause of the tragedy was the Hon P.T. Mahon, then Mr Justice Mahon, a Judge of the High Court of New Zealand.

Strangely enough the Commission hearings had been preceded by the publication of the report of the Chief Inspector of Air Accidents. That report placed the blame on the aircrew.

In this book, Peter Mahon describes, in calm&objective detail, the course of the inquiry and, for the first time, tells how he reached the conclusions which were to startle the public, the airline management&the Government.

Not only did the Mahon report clear the aircrew from responsibility, it also accused the airline of 'a pre-determined plan of deception'.

An absorbing book. It takes the reader behind the scenes of the investigation&gives fascinating pen pictures of the major participants; it reveals the painstaking study which brought the Commissioner to his conclusions;&it reveals in full detail the extraordinary story of the Erebus inquiry. Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: Waitakere City, Auckland, NZ

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