Friday, December 27, 2013

Joe Karam: New Zealand; Resolute David Bain supporter agrees to settle yet another defamation case he brought against detractors. Radio New Zealand. (Accompanying Wikipedia entry details the enormous person cost he has suffered in his relentless pursuit of justice for David Bain. HL);

STORY: "Karam welcomes defamation case settlement," published by Radio New Zealand on December 16, 2013.

GIST: "Long time David Bain supporter Joe Karam says he is pleased his defamation case against Fairfax New Zealand has been settled. The Sunday Star Times published an apology on Sunday for printing an article in 2009 which drew attention to private websites which it says attacked Mr Karam's integrity, honesty and general character. The company says it accepts unreservedly that the comments made about Mr Karam were untrue. Mr Karam says the terms of settlement are confidential but he is happy with the outcome and the apology and retraction helps to set the record straight.........Mr Karam fought to overturn David Bain's convictions for killing five family members at their Dunedin home in 1994. Mr Bain was acquitted in a retrial."

The entire story can be found at:

Background:  See Wikipedia account;  Joseph Francis "Joe" Karam (born 21 November 1951) is a former New Zealand representative rugby footballer who played for the All Blacks, an entrepreneur and a campaigner for David Bain who was convicted of murdering his entire family in 1995 but acquitted after a retrial in 2009.........Karam is known for his many years of unqualified support for David Bain, who was convicted of murdering all five members of his family in 1995. Karam's research and sustained pressure on the justice system culminated in an appeal to the Privy Council in Britain in May 2007, at which Bain's conviction was overturned. The Privy Council found there had been a substantial miscarriage of justice, quashed his convictions and ordered a retrial. After his convictions were quashed, Karam allowed Bain to stay at his house in the Waikato on bail prior to the retrial two years later. Bain stayed for about three months before moving to Auckland.[6] The new trial was held in 2009 and Bain was found not guilty on all five charges.[7] Without Karam's support it is unlikely there would ever have been a retrial. His interest in the case began in 1996 when he read a newspaper article about “an old music teacher and a bunch of young, long-haired university  students” trying to raise money for Bain's appeal by selling jam.[8] He went and gave them money. He began to study the evidence presented at the original trial and began to feel something was wrong with the case.[9] He went to visit Bain in prison in Christchurch and subsequently visited him over 200 times.[9] According to media commentator Paul Holmes, Karam was appalled at the way the family, the Police and the Fire Service arranged to burn the Bain house down.[10] Based on his extensive research over many years, Karam wrote four books about David Bain's case. The first was "David and Goliath: the Bain family murders" published in 1997. Karam made accusations against two individual police officers in David and Goliath as a result of which he was sued for defamation. (He won that case as well.) The book created a media furore. Karam appeared regularly on Holmes and 'did a thousand other media interviews'.[1] The second book, "Bain and Beyond" was published in 2000 and the third, "Innocent!: seven critical flaws in the conviction of David Bain" came out in 2001. The fourth book "Trial By Ambush: The Prosecutions Of David Bain" was released in 2012. In this book, Karam accuses Robin Bain of the murders of his wife and three of their children before shooting himself.[11]While supporting Bain, Karam spent his 'considerable fortune' on the case.[12] He'd become wealthy in various business ventures including hamburger bars and country pubs and the country's first major independent vending machine company. He had more than 20 investment properties, a launch and racehorses and lived on a 10 acre property in Clevedon. Karam says the crusade cost him millions and his friends estimated his personal losses could be as much as $4 million in terms of his time, loss of earnings and costs of legal and forensic experts.[13] He spent it in his pursuit of the case and ended up living in 15 to 20 different rental houses over the past decade while trying to prove Bain's innocence.[12] He received some compensation prior to the retrial by working as a researcher and investigator for Bain's legal team, where he was paid up to $95 an hour.[9][12] Karam has also taken legal action to defend himself in pursuit of the case. In addition to being sued for defamation by two police officers, he also took on the media with litigation against TVNZ, North and South magazine and the New Zealand Herald.[12] He sued journalist Rosemary McLeod over an article that cast doubt on his motives for supporting Bain. They settled out of court.[1] In 2011 he sued Trade Me for defamation over 349 posts on the website's public message boards about Bain.[14] In 2012 he began legal proceedings against Kent Parker and Victor Purkiss for defamation.[15.........Karam acknowledges that fighting the case has taken its toll on him over the years. Interviewed in the New Zealand Herald in 2007 under the headline Joe Karam: Freedom Fighter, he said "For many years the mainstream media, judiciary and politicians just thought of me as a raving redneck who'd lost the plot."[12] He stopped socialising with rich-list friends because people would inevitably "buttonhole him about the case" and he felt compelled to put them straight – "destroying the dinner party" in the process. He said that "every morning for two years, he would wake up, sink to the edge of the bed and cry".[1] When asked what motivated him to keep going, he said it was because of his "innate hatred of unfairness and urge to help those less fortunate".[12]


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