Judge and Jury – Fair Process Anyone?

I posted a few weeks ago about the Clayton Weatherston trial – that post garnered a number of comments, many of which were along the lines of “everyone deserves their day in court and the presumption of innocence).

This morning I was reading the NZ Herald and came across this article, telling the story of Kevin Abdulrahman, a character that the writer of the article is quick to dismiss as a conman… the basis for this is that;

  • Abdulrahman “owned” a Ferrari, bought on credit and later repossessed
  • He was involved in some multi level marketing health care product in New Zealand

We go on to hear that this chap has moved to Dubai and rebranded himself as a “mind nutrition expert” and is doing the circuit of conference speaking and media coverage. The writer of the article took it upon himself to contact the media in Dubai, “warning” them about Abdulrahman’s past.

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Looking past the fact that one could readily agree that Abdulrahman may well be something of a slimeball, I wonder on what basis a respected newspaper believes they have the right to potentially impact on this guy over the other side of the world. I mean if being involved in multi level marketing was cause for public evisceration, there’s be entrails flowing down most of our suburban streets.

As for buying the Ferrari on credit and having it repossessed? Is the Herald going to start offering free public listings of bad debtors? It’d increase their page numbers several fold I guess but beyond that…

Bloggers have been criticised of late as being amateur and “pouring out columns of unsubstantiated “facts” and hysterical opinion.” – I have to say that the NZ Herald article in question isn’t something that leads me to the belief that mainstream media is any different than the great-unwashed, those of the blogosphere.

SO yeah – Abdulrahman may not be Mother Teresa, but he still deserves some process, no?

1 Comment
  • Hi Ben.

    As cynical as I sometimes am about how the media operates, this seems like a free speech type of issue to me. You’d hope that once the Herald has “notified” them, journalists in Dubai would be savvy enough to research it for themselves and decide if they’re being swindled, and maybe ask some harder questions than they’d thought necessary.

    I’d imagine this sort of thing goes on between media often in the same way that I might tap a stranger on the shoulder if I thought they were being cheated. It doesn’t mean I’m right, it doesn’t mean people have to believe me, and I’d like to think anyone I’m bad-mouthing should have an opportunity to know that a question’s been raised so they have an opportunity to put up a counter-argument, even though this doesn’t always happen.

    What irks me about that article though is that further down it reads like it’s just a marketing piece for the Herald. The only reason for actually reporting that they’ve told someone in Dubai is to promote the newspaper over the story and connect themselves with any potential down-fall of this guy so they can claim credit if and when it ever happens, and the Herald will certainly tell everyone if it does, just to prove how right they were (and ignore it if it doesn’t, of course). But yeah, I guess that’s just the Herald. It seems there’s also a paragraph devoted to making sure readers know how they one-up’d the Sunday News on this guy … apparently — I don’t watch much TV or read either paper.

    Just my own thoughts, though.

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