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Police to sue author Joe Karam
The slaying of the Bain family in their Dunedin home in 1994 and the arrest, trial and conviction of David the surviving family member, has proven to be one of the most controversial criminal justice issues of the century. Auckland businessman Joe Karam’s entered the saga as David Bain began his life sentence, and became the strongest advocate of his innocence. Mr Karam went on to write a book, David and Goliath, in which he attacked police credibility and integrity, claiming David is innocent and his father Robin was the murderer.
Now police officers involved in the investigation and prosecution have filed defamation action against David and Goliath’s publishers and author.

New Zealand Police Association president Greg O’Connor confirmed on 30 March 1998, that police officers in Dunedin were to lodge the defamation action in the Auckland High Court the following week. Papers were served on Mr Karam in April. He said the association backed the action, which names Reed Publishing as first defendant and Mr Karam as second defendant.

Mr O’Connor said police were taking the action because they believe David and Goliath had ‘impugned their reputations.’

Police and the Police Complaints Authority took more than six months to investigate the claims in Mr Karam’s book. The outcome released by police commissioner Peter Doone on 26 November 1997 found there had been no criminal behaviour or misconduct on the part of police. The 123-page report found no evidence to support Mr Karam’s claims that David had been wrongly convicted.

Author and publisher fined

Mr Karam and Reed Publishers were fined in March 1998 for breaching a suppression order by naming a trial witness in David and Goliath. Each was fined $850 with $130 court costs.

Back to The David Bain Case Index

Police officers have filed defamation action against Karam and Reed Publishers.

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