27 Aug 2013

CAA denies trying to manage inquest

5:22 pm on 27 August 2013

A lawyer for the Civil Aviation Authority has denied a suggestion the organisation tried to manage the way in which its personnel appeared at a Wellington inquest.

The organisation's former safety officer, Peter Kirker, is on trial in the Wellington District Court, accused of forgery and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The trial relates to emails Mr Kirker sent to parties involved in an inquest into a fatal air crash over Paraparaumu in 2008.

They purported to be from an aviation expert, Frank Sharpe, and raised concerns about events on the day of the crash.

John Parnell, a senior solicitor for the CAA, gave evidence that Mr Kirker was told it was preferable that he not attend the inquest.

A CAA email shown to the court said that if the coroner saw CAA staff were present and asked them to give evidence it could make the inquest "unpredictable and difficult to control".