Monday, April 28, 2014

Bulletin; Joe Karam; New Zealand; The fervent, dedicated supporter of wrongfully convicted David Bain has been awarded $535,000 against two defendants for posts on social media in which he was accused of being dishonest in his motivations, compared to a Nazi leader and accused of misrepresenting facts. (Publisher's view: Bravo! HL);

STORY: "Karam awarded $535,000 over defamation. The ruling identified some 50 defamatory statements on Mr. Karam by Mr. Parker and Mr. Purkis to which there was no defence," published by The New Zealand Herald on April 17, 2014.

PHOTO-CAPTION: "Joe Karam (right) worked to prove David Bain was innocent."

PUBLISHER'S VIEW: (Editorial): People like Joe Karam who go to bat for dor the wrongfully convicted David Bain's  of the world are few and far between, and deserve all of the protection they can get from the courts against pig-headed detractors who are blinded to the possibility of innocence.   Sadly, the New Zealand government was, and continues to be, also  blind to Bain's innocence - as clearly established  by Karam,  other supporters, and Bain's dedicated legal team - to the point that it discredited the work of Justice Ian Binnie, a brilliant, highly regarded former Supreme Court of Canada Justice who had been asked  to determine if there was a case for compensation -  and  had returned a report favourable to Bain. Pretty disgusting!

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

GIST:  "Joe Karam has been awarded $535,000 in a defamation case against two men who launched an "all-out assault" on his reputation because of his support for David Bain. The online comments by Kent Parker and Victor Purkiss accused Mr Karam of being dishonest in his motivations for helping Mr Bain after he was cleared in 2009 of murdering five members of his family. Some of the remarks compared him to a Nazi leader, and one used his name to coin a word — "Karamalisation" — to describe how he allegedly misrepresented facts. Mr Karam said the public campaign against his integrity was the "worst four years" of his life, and Justice Patricia Courtney said she believed the former All Black......... Justice Courtney's judgment noted evidence of Mr Karam's "integrity, generosity and altruism". Mr Karam said the men had made "an all-out assault on me [in] an attempt to show that I'm shonky". He and Fairfax NZ had earlier agreed to settle defamation claims, on a confidential basis, arising from articles on that drew attention to the websites that contained the defamatory comments by Mr Parker and Mr Purkiss."

BACKGR0UND:   (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]

See previous post of this Blog: Joe Karam honoured with The Charles Smith Blog award: Publisher's View. (Editorial);  "I am pleased to present the Charles Smith Blog award to Joe Karam  of New Zealand for the courageous battle he fought in pursuit of justice for since-exonerated David Bain. Mr. Karam wrote many books and articles about the case in a bid to keep the issues in the face of a government and police force that were determined to keep David Bain behind bars  in spite of a terribly bungled, police investigation tainted by tunnel vision, and evidence which showed that he might be innocent - and all of this at great personal cost, including  being the recipient of vicious personal slanders over many years." Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

The entire story can be found at:


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;