'Bitterness of 10 years of injustice' still churns for man whose wife was one of 115 killed in CTV building

Source: 1News

“The bitterness of 10 years of injustice” still churns in CTV Families Group spokesman Maan Alkaisi, whose wife Maysoon was one of 115 killed in the CTV building on the day of the Christchurch earthquake.

A decade on, no charges have been laid over the collapse, despite police recommending that manslaughter charges be filed against engineers Alan Ray and David Harding in a 2017 report for the Crown solicitor.

On the 10th anniversary of the quake in which 185 people died, Alkaisi continues to campaign for justice for his wife and the 114 other people who died in the CTV building.

“We know that there are numerous design deficiencies that account to a major departure from normal practice, what hurts most that we know the engineer who designed this deficient building, he was aware of the design problems,” he said.

“He was a specialist in earthquake engineering, yet he did not take any action to rectify the design problems, risking people and then we end up with one of the largest engineering failures in New Zealand.”

Alkaisi was unable to find answers as to how the police recommendation in 2017 for manslaughter charges to be laid amounted to no prosecutions.

“We find out through our complaint to the Independent Police Conduct Authority there is no record or documentation to show happened from this document to the announcement,” he said.

“So there are many questions unanswered, we tried and tried and tried to find records and documents and evidence so we get convinced that the police decision was the right one to take.

"I went to Mr Peter Reid who was the superintendent who was in charge of this investigation, couldn’t get an answer, I went to the Police Commissioner, couldn’t get an answer. I went to the attorney general, couldn’t get an answer. I went to the Independent Police Conduct Authority, couldn’t get an answer and this is why I’m standing here after 10 years feeling the bitterness of 10 years of injustice.”

Alkaisi said his late wife, who was working as a doctor in the CTV building, was the inspiration for 10 years of tireless campaigning.

“A lot of my strength and determination is actually drawn from Maysoon, she taught me a lot of this, she was beautiful, she was clever, she was proud of her profession,” he said.

“To lose her in such an unfair fight, to lose her because someone wanted to make money is very hurtful.”

It remained vitally important for so many that the victims’ families get an opportunity for justice, Alkaisi said.

“What we want is applying the rule of law, we want a fair trial with a judge and jury because we can learn a lot from it,” he said.

“We can learn how to prevent this from happening together, it’s important for all New Zealanders, it’s vital for the victims’ families to know exactly what happened.”

“Only by determination do we change things to better, we make life better for the next generation.”

“I don’t want this to happen to my three daughters, my three granddaughters, all my friends and everyone else in New Zealand.”